It’s always easier to look back at a year when the review turns up mostly good news, and, as it turns out, 2013 was a pretty good year for magazine, catalog and book markets alike.
Especially after the 2012 end-of-year report by MediaPost News about a continued loss of advertising revenue in magazine markets, the best news for 2013 was the continued and significant decline of magazine closures. Only 56 titles closed in 2013, down from 82 closures in 2012 and a cataclysmic high of 428 closures in 2009. This, added to growing magazine readership, indicates the magazine market is stabilizing. Hopefully, the just- approved exigent postal rate increase won’t reverse this positive trend.
An extensive review of printed books versus ebooks by Josh Catone of Mashable concludes that readers think ebooks are great when it comes to consuming information, but desire printed books for their beauty and collectability. Research commissioned by Ricoh Americas went a step further by supporting these sentiments with data showing readers’ continued attachment to printed books.
Print catalogs continue to be a vital sales and marketing tool both in the business-to-business world and in the business-to-consumer world. In fact, Direct Marketing Association reported that while catalog distribution has declined somewhat, the use of catalogs as part of multichannel campaigns bolstered purchase amounts and customer retention. And, I was pleased (but not too surprised) to learn that many e-commerce companies are creating print catalogs to capture new customers and grow their businesses.
Of course, the biggest news item for me this year is Walsworth’s addition of mobile apps to help our customers extend their multichannel reach.
Add to this news about metallic paper options, a new print ad in Wired Magazine that changes colors when buttons are pressed, and even the recent news that actor Woody Harrelson is starting a tree-free paper business, and I get excited about where we’re going in the world of print to help our customers be more successful at their core business.
I hope your 2013 was good, and wish you personal and professional success in 2014.