The trend toward consolidation of newspaper printing centres is slowly coming to a halt, says consultant Sabine Sirach. After all, for printed daily newspapers, there are physical limitations to the distribution distances that can be covered while still being up-to-date and relevant.
Sirach consults for the newspaper industry offering creativity, trends and innovations in newspaper production and cross-media. She was formerly Head of Product Marketing Newspaper at manroland web systems, where she was involved in product planning, market research, and strategic customer consulting. She was also editor-in-chief of the company's customer newspaper, "manroland Messenger."
At World Publishing Expo in Vienna in October, Sirach will moderate a session on the first day of the Print World Conference, Monday, 10 October, titled “The Power of Print Innovation,” which will consider the role of print in news publishing now and in the near future by taking into account the views of publishers, newspapers and customers.
The session will also look at the variety of innovative ways that print and its related materials can be used and how publishers can create new business with innovations in print.
Ahead of Expo and Print World, Sirach sent us her list of production trends that she sees regarding the printed newspaper:
- New revenue fields such as events or multi-media productions are developed and offered also by outsourced printing houses.
- (As mentioned above) the trend to consolidation of newspaper printing centres is slowly coming to a halt. After all, for printed daily newspapers, there are physical limitations to the distribution distances that can be covered while still being up-to-date and relevant.
- From the suppliers' side, the service business is now central because there are no new equipment investments. Besides classic services such as support, maintenance or retrofits, new fields like consulting, IT or operating are gaining more and more importance.
- Where possible, newspaper publishers and contract printers are offshoring their printing capabilities with the help of digital printing. Kodak´s installation in Jersey, Channel Islands has gone live, and for such small and closed markets like Mengis' Swiss newspapers the output of digital printers meets the requirements.
- The innovation process as such is often being formalized in publishing houses. Knowledge about innovations in the printed newspaper is spreading on a worldwide scale.
- Some additional options like gluing heads or unusual materials (paper, ink) are used in many creative ways, while technological add-ons such as digital imprinting remain niche products as they tend to require high investments in sales and marketing.