NEW YORK -- April 13, 2004 -- TrendWatch Graphic Arts announces the availability of a set of nine reports excerpted from the company's landmark Media Requirements Study, conducted in the Summer 2003 and made available to the study's sponsors in November. Through a combination of surveys and extensive interviews, this primarily qualitative study answered such questions as: How are economic, technological, and media penetration changes affecting the marketplace-and the market for print? Who shapes and controls workflows and how will that change? How do connectivity effects on workflow and delivery media affect demands of advertisers and publishers? What are all the issues that affect printers' customers, and how do they impact their need to continue buying print? And much more.
To answer these questions, TrendWatch Graphic Arts conducted an extensive series of interviews with movers and shakers from all corners of the industry-printers (of all sizes and equipment classifications), media buyers, graphic designers, ad agencies, publishers, distributors, and suppliers. The study also draws on the hallmark of TrendWatch Graphic Arts' market research-its twice yearly surveys of a broad swath of graphic arts businesses.
The study itself was divided into sections focused on a particular topic. These sections are now available for purchase separately, and consist of:
-- The Demand for Print: How do printers' clients see the effectiveness of print as a medium? How do they see their demand for printed materials changing in the next several years? What are the alternatives to print, and how are they playing into the demand for print? At the same time, what do printers themselves make of the changing demand for print? This report takes a detailed look at the changing media mix, the forces that are driving the changing media mix, and how that changing mix is perceived by all corners of the industry.
-- Digital Presses: How do media buyers, creative firms, and publishers perceive digital printing technologies like HP/Indigo, Xeikon, or Xerox DocuColor? What do they think of the quality? How does it compare with offset? It's been said for years that there is a vast untapped market for short-run color that digital printing can satisfy. Is that true? How do printers themselves perceive digital printing technologies, both from a quality and a sales perspective? This report highlights the drivers of and barriers to adoption of digital printing in all corners of the industry.
-- Direct-to-Press: What do printers think of digital offset presses (like Heidelberg Quickmaster-DI)? Do they see any advantage in availing themselves of direct-to-press technology? If so, for what? If not, why not? This report identifies the drivers of and barriers to the adoption
of this technology in the industry.
-- Computer-to-Plate: How prevalent is computer-to-plate technology in the industry today? How far downmarket is computer-to-plate technology likely to travel? Is the primary advantage of CTP the reduction of consumables costs? If not, what is? This report highlights the drivers of and barriers to the continued adoption of CTP in the industry.
-- Proofing: How are attitudes toward proofing changing among print buyers? How are those attitudes changing among printers? Why are those attitudes changing? What types of proofing methods are increasing and which are declining? What is the viability of PDF and/or online proofing? Will proofing be necessary in the workflow of the future? This report focuses on the forces that are driving changes in proofing technology.
-- Workflow: What is the typical creative workflow, and how is it changing? How many people are involved in graphic production? Where are the bottlenecks? How is telecommunications changing the workflow? This report concentrates on the changing logistics of the design and production workflow.
-- Variable-Data Printing: What is the perception of personalized, customized, and variable-data printing among media buyers and creatives? Or is there even any perception of it at all? What do printers think about VDP? Is it a niche technology-and if so, how big of a niche is there? Are changes in the media mix fueling an interest in targeted marketing? If so, how? This report identifies the drivers of and barriers to adoption of personalized, customized, and variable-data printing in all corners of the industry.
-- Publishing Software/Cross Media: How is the changing media mix affecting creatives' requirements vis-‡-vis production software? How prevalent is cross-media publishing among creative firms? How does the idea of cross media affect printers? Or does it? This report focuses on the need to develop content for more than one medium simultaneously.
-- Channels: How is the relationship between printers and their dealers changing? How have consolidations among dealers affected the channel relationships in the industry? What is the role of the dealer? Will e-commerce allow direct-sales models to work? What kinds of dealer salespeople are/will be needed? What kinds of vendor salespeople? What are the training issues? This report focuses on the changing landscape for dealers and distributors.
Each of these reports includes extracts from the myriad interviews TWGA conducted for the Media Requirements Study. Often lively, and sometimes provocative, the interviews provide crucial insight into where different industry segments see the market going. Each report also includes a "TrendWatch take," in which TWGA writers and analysts identify points of divergence among different market segments, or-in the face of other evidence-just plain disagree with interviewees' assessments of the market. Each report also includes supplementary data gleaned from TWGA's own twice-yearly surveys of the graphic communications markets.
"The fundamental nature of graphic communications is changing dramatically, driven by the rapid proliferation of electronic media. But different segments of the industry only see a small portion of these changes while often missing the 'big picture.' With our bird's eye view of the industry we can see how the different parts fit together, and identify trends and changes that others can-and often do-miss. Understanding the 'whole enchilada' is a key element of succeeding in the graphic arts marketplace of the future."
Each of these reports is available for $995 via the TrendWatch Graphic Arts e-Store at www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com.
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