PRIMIR, the Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization, announced that its study, "Impact of Electronic Technologies on Print," is now available for sale. First published in February 2012 and previously only available to PRIMIR and NPES members, the 282-page report can now be purchased by non-members for $1,495.
In 2011, PRIMIR commissioned IT Strategies Inc. to investigate electronic communications technologies relative to how and why the printing industry is and will continue to be impacted by the ever-increasing array of communications solutions. Eight months later, after thousands of hours of interviews with technologists, industry experts, consumers and printers, this comprehensive research report answers questions about how, why and when each of the major print applications may be impacted.
"Contrary to popular belief mostly fueled by media saturation, e-books, iPads and other similar devices aren't the root cause for the decline in page volume within the various print applications," according to Marco Boer, vice president, IT Strategies Inc., principal researcher on this study. "Instead, the true major change-agent is a shift in business models. These business model changes emerge from a business' desire to be more efficient, timely and thrifty all the while also addressing the communication needs and desires of their customers."
"The Cloud" was identified as the single most important enabler in the continuing growth of electronic communication technologies. I.T. Strategies conservatively estimated investment in Cloud computing at $20 billion in 2011 alone. This investment exceeded the entire R&D investment of the worldwide printing equipment and supplies manufacturing industry.
The study, which separately addresses impact, trends and volume shifts for 12 print applications, reveals that not all print applications will be impacted equally, likewise for equipment and supplies in the print value chain as well. For example, plate volume will likely increase due to more frequent, shorter-run print jobs. Alternately, publications that rely upon advertising revenue are far more vulnerable primarily due to "channel switching" than, surprisingly, books.
There has been tremendous popular press coverage about electronic technologies and books, however, according to the study, for the next three years the actual impact on page volumes is smaller than one might expect. This is due, in part, because there are many segments of book printing that will not be impacted for at least another five years.
With newspapers, in the future the right combination of screen size, resolution and battery life may encourage readers to migrate to electronic content due to the time sensitivity, plus the ability to interact with other readers and post comments.
According to the study, today and in the future, electronic communication technology benefits outweigh and will continue to outweigh its disadvantages. However, print will coexist where instant availability is not the most important factor. One inherent advantage of print is that it is fixed and cannot be changed, enabling control over who has access to the content, which may ultimately be a major advantage.
The comprehensive 282-page research report, "Impact of Electronic Technologies on Print," identifies numerous implications—both threats and opportunities—for all participants in the print supply chain.