World Association of News Publishers

High-Value Print Production

High-Value Print Production


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The newspaper, the first mass medium of the industrial age, today competes with lower-priced and faster news media. Thus two reasons to seek possibilities to produce higher-value newspapers and other print products have emerged.

Publishers want to offer higher-value newspapers in order to gain competitive advantages. Newspaper printers aim at offsetting declining print circulations and volumes by acquiring additional print orders.

The World Printers Forum Board resolved to investigate the objectives, techniques and materials that are applied with a view to extending those business areas, and how publishers, printers and producers evaluate them.

This report is based on the result of surveys conducted among selected newspaper printers and manufacturers of printing presses, auxiliary press equipment, mailroom and finishing systems, and paper and ink. Experts from America, Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and Australia were polled.

The majority of survey participants from publishing houses and printing companies cited the improved quality of the newspaper product and the development of the commercial printing business as the main reasons for producing higher-value products.

The primary objective of the surveyed publishers and printers is to strengthen and extend their existing markets, improve existing print products and expand their product portfolio. The most frequently named important market segments were customer newspapers, high-quality newspapers, and magazines.

Use of higher-value materials

The applied techniques were characterised first and foremost by the use of higher-value materials, such as improved newsprint. Finishing was named in second place, while a small number of participants categorised press upgrading by adding heatset or UV systems as important.

The aforementioned benefits of investing in materials and equipment for the production of higher-quality print products are manifold: attracting new customers, entering new markets, improving quality, becoming more competitive, winning additional orders from regular customers, developing new products, improving profit margins and better utilisation of capacities.

Two-thirds of the publishers and printers polled also recommend that other companies invest in higher-quality product development. Asked about how they view the market development, the manufacturers expressed cautious optimism. Projections for the future range from double-digit growth in this market segment to an expected minor contraction in volume. A feeling of optimism prevails especially in the improved newsprint segment.

It becomes apparent that a differentiation has emerged in the market: The majority continues to back coldset production, albeit with the aid of improved materials and extensive use of finishing. A significant minority puts its faith in the production of commercial print objects and aims at new business areas outside the newspaper printing area as well as within it.

Major differences can be seen according to the region concerned. The survey participants named central Europe (including western Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland) as the priority for investments in higher-value products, followed by northern and eastern Europe.

Manfred Werfel, Michael Spinner-Just


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2017-09-28 11:29

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