Commercial Print, an Industry in Decline

2067 Words9 Pages
Commercial Print, an Industry in Decline

Robert Ehnat

Business 110

The commercial printing industry, once the dominant communication medium of the United States has been changing constantly for the last 65 years. Since the end of the Second World War, the commercial printing industry has lost market share for a number of reasons. Unimagined technological advances brought continuous innovations, new media challenges, a changing culture and increased domestic and foreign competition. The result of these changes is an industry that’s been forever altered and is facing an uncertain future.
Commercial Print, an Industry in Decline

I have been employed in the printing industry for the last 20 years, most recently as a project manager.
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Additionally individuals and organizations have the ability to skip the printing process completely and disseminate their publications and newsletters in digital form directly across the World Wide Web. One clear impact of computers and internet usage can been in the market of business form printing. Forms printers have seen a significant decline in revenues with the development of computers and the advent of the internet. In 1987 business forms generated 15.6 billion in revenues. “By 2002, the business forms segment was generating only $8.5 billion in revenues which was $2.1 billion less than the real value of the industry’s shipments in 1977”. (Kelley & Rockler, 2006) Advertising dollars fund a large portion of commercial print revenues. (First Research, 2009) Newspapers and periodicals have been severely impacted by the development of the internet as a mass media channel in its own right. Drawn by it’s lower cost, immediacy, usability and availability advertisers' have shifted their budgets from print advertising to the internet. Periodicals, especially in the business to business arena, have increasing had to abandoned their printed versions and go completely to publishing on the web as their advertisers deserted them. (Wilson, 2009) The current economic down turn has only exacerbated the situation. 2008, was the
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