Commercial Printing Down -3.2% in September

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As consumers move to the Internet for information there is an effect on all traditional media, and printing shipments, much like newspaper revenue are indicators of where we stand in this evolution.

Here are the September numbers as reported on

September 2012 US commercial printing shipments were $6.97 billion, down -$232 million, or -3.2% versus September 2011. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -$375mil, or -5.1%.

For the first nine months of 2012, shipments were down -$1.3 billion on a current dollar basis (-2.1%, and -4.2% an inflation adjusted basis).

No surprises here as the trend has been down for many years.

From printed Yellow Pages to product brochures to printed newspapers to book publishing, they all have been hurt by consumers finding the same information in a digital format and consumers won’t ever return to the good old days of ink on paper.

However, printing still does $80 billion plus a year in shipments and we are a long way from completely doing away with printed newspapers, direct mail, packaging and point-of-sale displays.

So, to reach today’s consumers we have to do twice the work, we have to print and go digital.

Thank goodness the technology is here today in our modern ad builder to accommodate the old and the new for local marketing.


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