Worldwide Market for Print 2.0, now available for purchase


The Association for Print Technologies (APTech) and the Printing and Paper Technology Association within VDMA, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau) announce the joint comprehensive study “Worldwide Market for Print 2.0: Global Opportunities in Publishing Printing and Marketing and Commercial Printing” (WWMP) is now available for purchase.

According to the new study, print packaging, publishing printing, and marketing and commercial printing, the largest industry segments, which account for a majority of the worldwide market, are projected to expand from $389bn in 2017 to $421bn in 2020, increasing by 2.7% on average per year. Further, the study projects, print packaging will have healthy annual global growth of 4.5% through 2020; print growth will be dragged down by publishing printing, which will contract at an annual rate of 2%; and, marketing & commercial printing will grow at a moderate pace of 0.7%.

For this first ever co-produced multi-phased study by global association leaders, APTech and VDMA Printing and Paper Technology, a team of consultants from The Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of The Economist Group and world’s leading provider of country intelligence, worked closely with a joint task force of APTech and VDMA member companies to conduct the most comprehensive research and analysis to date on the global print packaging, publishing printing and marketing & commercial printing markets. In 2013, APTech (formerly NPES) published the landmark “World-wide Market for Print: Identifying Global Opportunities for the Print Industry” study, which framed an understanding of the size of the global print and imaging industry. Acknowledging the significance of this world view and continuing the WWMP study series, APTech and VDMA Printing and Paper Technology forged a unique new partnership resulting in the new multi-phased WWMP 2.0 study series. Phase one (published in 2016) focused on print packaging; phase two, (published in 2017) investigated the publishing and marketing & commercial industry segments. Both studies examined global markets within 26 countries, which combined represent 80% of global GDP and 70% of the world’s population.

The outlook for publishing printing will remain challenging over the next five years with the rise of digital media and decline in printed advertising sales continuing to create a difficult environment. As of 2017, the top five publishing printing markets in the world are China, U.S., Japan, UK and France, which together account for over 71% of the global market. With exchange rates expected to level out in the coming years, the growth in marketing & commercial printing revenues will rebound in 2017–21. While the U.S., UK, Germany, China and France are the five largest marketing & commercial printing markets, Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region, with India, Indonesia and Vietnam leading the way. With the worldwide connection to the internet, publishing printing and marketing & commercial printing are losing ground, especially in developed markets. Conversely, in emerging markets, technology has allowed countries to advance to digital media, however, printing is still a cheaper and more effective medium where fewer of the population are regularly online.

The accelerated growth of emerging markets underscores the dominant trends and driving forces identified in this study. Recommendations from The Economist Intelligence Unit for equipment manufacturers, suppliers, printers, and brand owners include, identifying and investing in key country markets based on business priorities and regional focus; seeking value throughout each area of the supply chain; focusing on specialized market niches; adapting to changing market dynamics; and, improving data analytics in all business areas.

Both WWMP studies examined key country demographics, investigated global and regional trends, sized the historical publishing and marketing & commercial industries from 2012–2016 (print packaging from 2011–2015), and provided an analytical view forward through 2021 (through 2020 for print packaging), complete with recommendations for APTech and VDMA members to leverage worldwide business opportunities.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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