It’s no secret that the pandemic dealt publishers a severe blow last year, especially their print activities. Both ad and circulation revenues declined significantly globally. The World Printers Forum conducted a survey of print executives near the end of last year to gauge how they think 2021 will develop. Amid the air of concern, investments will continue.
As 2020 was nearing an end, several questions remained – what does the printing community expect in the near future? How are newspaper companies and printers planning investments? What kind of cost control measures can be expected?
Nearly 50 print executives who are members of the World Printers Forum and part of the WAN-IFRA Global Media Trends Panel took part in the survey, powered by data market research specialist Syno International, to provide insights on their plans.
A comprehensive analysis of those responses helped us to identify the possible trends and developments that could shape the industry in the months ahead, which we have now published as a report, the World Printers Forum Outlook 2021.
One of the most interesting findings of the study is that many newspaper publishers intend to invest in their printing plants in the near future, amid the difficult economic situation and the general notion that the pandemic would pave the way for more digitisation of the newspaper business.
Most respondents said they were planning to invest in new equipment or retrofit old equipment or to do both.
Another interesting finding was that more than half of the respondents were considering Artificial Intelligence as a possible application in their production activities.
Below are some of the survey’s key findings:
- More than 70 per cent of the publishers are planning investments
- Cost-cutting is still important, but fewer layoffs and closures are expected in the future
- The main problems are the declining ad business, smaller print circulations and rising newsprint costs
- Working from home sustainably reduces the need for rented office space
The pandemic brought in new difficulties on top of the industry’s existing ones, and, naturally, the persistence of the COVID-19 situation continues to be a major concern. Nevertheless, publishers have reacted to the situation through several measures and are planning additional ones.
WAN-IFRA Members can read more by downloading the report, which is available free of charge to them, here. Non-members who are interested in purchasing the report can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org