We have split out the sites by revenue band in order to gain a sense of which types of shops can afford a certain piece of printing equipment.
The challenge of this methodology is that the revenues camouflage what is wide-format printing versus other print applications. Based upon interviews, we’ve estimated the ratio of revenues that are derived from wide-format graphics digital printing. Using those assumptions calculated the estimates retail value of wide-format graphics inkjet.
The retail revenues for wide-format graphics inkjet output in the US mirror those in the 2011 IT Strategies wide-format graphics forecast. Now the challenge is converting the revenue into eligible sites for wide-format inkjet printers. Assuming that the weighted average revenue from wide-format inkjet is $0.5 million per site (remember that print-for-pay sites are more likely to generate revenue from solvent and UV-curable printers than aqueous printers) the total number of eligible sites which purchase wide-format printing equipment and supplies is in the range of 19,500 in the US market.
Another way of looking at this data is that about 1/3 of all print service providers in the US had some type of wide-format inkjet printing technology in 2011. From an installed base perspective of solvent, latex, and UV-curable printers in the US, the average wide-format print service provider has about 1.6 wide-format printers installed per site.
Is there a margin of error? Yes. How large is this potential margin for error? We don’t know and can’t prove it, but we believe there is no better way to size the market unless one has the resources to comb through every Yellow Pages directory and individually verify the activity of the sites listed. Of course, that data would be outdated immediately upon completion as businesses merge, go out of business, or alter definition of who they are. Ultimately, it is not the numbers that are important but the trend and relative context those numbers provide about an opportunity.