Out of Print: Printing in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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The Printing industry has struggled over the past five years as consumers increasingly favored digital alternatives, such as online media, over printed materials; consequently the industry will continue to struggle during the five years to 2018. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Printing industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Substitute forms of media will continue to attract consumers away from printers

The Printing industry has contended with a variety of challenges over the past five years. “Consumers are increasingly favoring digital alternatives, such as online media, over printed materials,” IBISWorld industry analyst Jesse Chiang says. For many media products, the printed word has proven to be too slow to produce and too costly to distribute. As a result, newer forms of media, such as digital, have been leeching away this industry's demand. With revenue expected to decline at an average annual rate of 5.2% in the five years to 2013, the Printing industry as a whole is in decline. In 2013, revenue is expected to continue this trend, falling 1.2% during the year to an estimated $77.7 billion.

Adding to the Printing industry's woes, decreasing sales volumes and downward pressure on unit selling prices have hampered industry profit margins over the past five years. “Printing also requires substantial capital investment in new technology to remain competitive, even at times of excess capacity,” Chiang says. Such overcapacity has contributed to the long-term trend of industry consolidation, and has caused the industry to be highly fragmented, with the four largest printing companies accounting for less than 20.0% of the industry's revenue. In the five years to 2013, the number of commercial printing companies is expected to fall. Industry consolidation has allowed the larger printers to adopt more efficient equipment, while simultaneously slashing employment and wages. These trends were exemplified when Quad/Graphics acquired World Color Press in July 2010. The company subsequently closed several plants and reduced its employee headcount by 2,200. In the five years to 2013, industry leader RR Donnelley, acquired over 16 companies in the five years to 2013, while cutting 5,000 jobs. Overall, these plant closures and staff consolidations have caused industry employment to fall as well.

The Printing industry is projected to continue its decline in the five years to 2018, though at a slower pace. Revenue is forecast to contract in the five years to 2018. Substitutes to commercially printed material, such as online media and advertising, will continue to adversely affect industry activity. In order to adapt to declining demand, printers will diversify into cross-media products, including multimedia layout and design. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Printing in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Companies in this industry are primarily engaged in printing on paper, textile products, metal, glass, plastic and other materials, with the exception of fabric. The industry covers a variety of different printing processes, including lithographic, gravure, screen, flexographic, digital and letterpress. This industry does not include publishers that also perform printing, nor does it include companies that perform prepress or postpress services without traditional printing.
Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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