Digital print solutions are giving print service providers (PSPs) the opportunity to help newspaper publishers increase readership and revenue, while decreasing costs. Newspapers have under a lot of pressure for the last several years, notes Bryan Yeager, Associate Director of InfoTrends...
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Digital print solutions are giving print service providers (PSPs) the opportunity to help newspaper publishers increase readership and revenue, while decreasing costs.
Newspapers have under a lot of pressure for the last several years, notes Bryan Yeager, Associate Director of InfoTrends. “Papers under the most pressure are the metro or small town dailies, especially the ones that own their printing equipment. They are pretty challenged from all sides, with both their circulation and print ads declining.”
On the other hand, notes Yeager, community and weekly newspapers, like Pennysavers, are in a better position and are more sustainable long term. “They have stronger relationships with the community and advertisers, and they are not as costly to produce.”
And while metro dailies, like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, are looking to pump up the revenues from their online subscriptions, adding paywalls, it’s still print ads that drive the revenue.
“We find similar things in magazines; people are drawn to ads in print,” adds Doug Sexton, global publishing market development for HP Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions.
“Newspapers are still a $200 billion industry worldwide, with 15,000 paid titles, which doesn’t include the number of free papers,” says Sexton. “There is still enormous market penetration—over half of the world’s population reads a newspaper. Globally, the number of paid newspaper titles is increasing. What is happening in the U.S. and Europe is not reflective of what is happening worldwide, especially in emerging markets, where newspapers are seen as a status symbol.”
Newspapers also have some other advantages over online or mobile delivery methods: their readers tend to more affluent (of course, they are also older, which may have something to do with it), and consumers of all stripes still look to Sunday coupons for savings.
For the opportunity to help publishers increase readership and revenue and decrease costs, says Will Mansfield worldwide marketing director for inkjet printing solutions, Eastman Kodak Co. “This is not a ‘field of dreams’ scenario, where if you build it they will come, but requires a real purposeful approach and in-depth conversations with the publishers to discuss their main issues, main pain points, etc. The technology is there, but printers have to insure that the business model works, so the printer gets a ROI in three to five years.”
One such opportunity, says Will, is helping the publisher implement color where it wasn’t used before or it was used sparingly, a possibility now with the “new breed of high speed inkjet systems that can produce color pages cost effectively in small quantities,” says Mansfield.
Geocoding Drives Opportunity
Another way newspapers can increase revenue, says Mansfield, is through the creation of more targeted inserts with geocoding, made cost-effective because of inkjet heads that replace the black plate. More targeted inserts open up advertising for smaller stores and companies to become engaged in using newspaper as the delivery method of targeted marketing message.
One of the things that is driving change in the marketplace and driving opportunity digitally is globalization. “There is a lot of opportunity in decentralized production; globalization and fragmentation play well into digital printing realm,” says HP’s Sexton.
Newspapers, such as The Financial Times, are printing ex-pat editions at remote sites using a HP high-speed inkjet web press. In October, The Financial Times expanded into the Latin America market with the launch of a digital newspaper print site in São Paulo; the paper is available for sale in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia.
Kodak, too, is finding success abroad. Same-day editions of Le Monde are distributed electronically and then printed in tabloid form, a few hundred copies in major cities.