The Covid-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented transformative effect on human life globally. It has sparked fears of an impending economic crisis and recession. Social distancing and quarantine rules and stringent travel restrictions to flatten the curve have eventually led to a reduced workforce across all major economic sectors and have contributed to many job losses.
Through various studies and researches held on the impact of COVID-19 succeeding the emergence of a global worldwide pandemic, the E-commerce industry has increased its virtual presence all across the world. Digital printing and related solutions have resulted as a debatable topic with respect to the printing industry and the impact of lockdown.
How did the pandemic change different sectors associated with print?
Briefly mentioned are some of the ways in which Print industry, along with other industries such as automobile, logistics, hospitality have been affected by the advent of COVID-19 and a resulting lockdown:
- A mixed reaction to the COVID-19 was seen developing in the printing industry. The personalized sector concerning photos benefited while other sectors concerning hospitality such as restaurants, hotels went through a significant decline in print.
- With movement restrictions and disrupted distribution systems, companies failed to produce and deliver prints overseas with cost-effectiveness.
- With high dependence on paper prior to the pandemic, the Print industry now has come up with smarter ways for printing by going digital. The minimized use of paper for printing has helped in preventing its wastage too.
- With the emergence of digital meetings through platforms like Skype and Zoom, the demand for business cards, diaries, catalogs, brochures, and printed invitations has significantly declined. With marriages and other social events coming to a stop, printed invitations for them have witnessed a stand-still too.
- COVID-19 has impacted the investment as a factor with printing companies postponing their huge capital investments as a result of uncertain events and a lack of capital and funds. Mark Hanley has exclaimed and projected the print industry and its providers will prefer investing in systems costing less as and when compared to inkjet printers.
- Schools, colleges, and other institutions are focusing on digital learning. With a focus on cost-cutting, call organizations and institutions are moving to E-books which are cheaper than the printed ones.
- The movement of only essentials and a restricted.
Covid-19 has caused economic and social disruption and has touched every industry, and print is not immune to its effect. With the movement of only essential commodities and a restricted movement with respect to other products read with the factors mentioned above, we will explore the demand, supply, and market performance of the print industry.
The Print Media Industry
Covid-19 has caused economic and social disruption and has touched every industry, and print is not immune to its effect. With the movement of only essential commodities and a restricted movement concerning other products read with the factors mentioned above, we will explore the demand, supply, and market performance of the print industry.
The print media market consists of sales of newspapers, magazines, other periodicals, books, directories, and mailing lists. It also includes calendars, greeting cards, maps, and related services such as advertising space by publishing print media entities. The print media market is segmented into a directory, mailing list, and other publishers, book publishers, and newspaper & magazine publishers.
Mass media is a vital part of social, political, economic, and environmental situations, as claimed by studies. It facilitates access to relevant information to multiple stakeholders, including but not limited to government officials, policymakers, health institutions, and the citizens of the nation. During this phase of the pandemic, each stratum of the economy relies on credible and accurate sources of information, which the media is known to frame.
The print media are said to have a proactive role in shaping and influencing the actions of the mass population. However, in this era of the Internet and social media, multiple forms of media have been used to convey and spread the news. Somehow, studies claim that Print Media remains to be the most sought-after, reliable, and valued source of information for the public.
How well did the print media industry manage to survive covid-19 and its impacts?
COVID-19: Advantages to public and market
With the advent of (ICT) Information and Communications Technology and the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the public is reluctant to carry hard copy newspapers; instead, they display inclination and preference towards e-newspapers. With almost all newspapers making accessible the E-newspapers correspondingly, the online versions can provide handy and faster access to updates and information to large communities worldwide concerning the spread and global effect of the pandemic.
The media market has leveraged the integration of technology and has provided its content remotely through digital channels. It is doubtful if print will gain new readers since the millennials are getting their news and information online.
With the aforementioned points, the proliferation of fake news on social media works in favour of the print media industry, as the traditional broadcasters are believed to promote trust and banish falsehood in the age of hyped /incorrect news.
COVID-19: Disadvantages to public and market
On the other hand, print has a disadvantage as it involves physical product offerings, inducing a scope of transmission, low whatsoever. Various studies indicate the virus survives on various surfaces, including plastic, copper, steel, and, yes, paper and cardboard. Despite the very low transmission chances, the covid-19 outbreak has been a notable restraint on the print media markets in 2020; India’s newspaper market shrank drastically on account of doorstep delivery fears about virus contagion and adversely disrupted circulation.
Print housing and it’s status
Housing societies across the country blocked the delivery of print media owing to the fear of the spread of the virus, and a few newspapers temporarily halted the production right after the lockdown was imposed in the country. Print publications have touchpoints and circulations beyond housing societies; coffee tables, business lobbies, waiting rooms, all non-operational because of the imposition of lockdown.
Print houses had to incur losses as commercial advertisers reduced their advertising rates, and some even disappeared. Prominent newspapers have also reduced the number of pages due to the lack of advertisements and are now focusing on redesigning the way to present the news. A heavy 76% drop in the advertisement revenue and 32% drop in circulation revenue resulted in a revenue decline of 67% year on year for major print media players in the country. Although various print advertising and media companies were able to sail and sustain through the tough times given their diverse non-traditional media avenues, print edition media shut down created job crises for journalists.
With economic activities returning to normalcy, print media continue providing undisrupted services
Despite all the roadblocks, Print Media made a comeback in the final quarter of the financial year 2023 despite the lower advertisement rates. The commercial advertisers, now focusing on increasing sales volumes from Tier II and Tier III cities, observed an increase in consumer demands, and spending patterns have seen an improvement post ease of stringent lockdown in the country.
For decades, the print industry has proved its worthiness and importance in any situation by leveraging its exemplary credibility to its readers and advertisers. This trust of the audience and the positive sentiment prevailing amongst the brands have ensured the industry continued delivering quality news and has helped it revive and survive.
While the sector is currently grappling with various challenges, post-economic revival, the print media industry will certainly bounce back and provide the masses’ needed information.
Print Product: Demand vs Supply-side!
Like the print media market, the print product market also witnessed a sharp decline in terms of demand; the imposition of countrywide lockdown put restrictions on events, especially weddings and parties. Business networking events are now happening over the web, cutting off requirements of flyers, banners, printed invites, and business cards. This sudden decline in demand has curbed customers’ spending, pushing the revenue streams down for the industry.
On the supply side, the industry suffers due to the uncertainty in the supply chain arising out of the unavailability of materials/significant delays. Though the industry has already picked up the pace by implementing safety measures, including but not limited to contactless delivery of goods, inculcating the habit of wearing masks, and using disinfectants during the delivery phase, this does not provide a permanent solution. The need of the hour is to move towards the path of digitization.
Market forces and printing Industry
The print sector demands heavy usage of paper and is now moving towards adopting smarter and efficient approaches to deliver alternative and sustainable printing solutions. The pandemic has presented demanding challenges to the industry but, on the other hand, has created multiple potential opportunities for stakeholders and players of the Print Industry to improve their game and better understand the dynamics of the market and the potential customers, to eventually be able to cement themselves bright and upright in the industry during these testing times.
Also Read: Office Printing Statistics in 2023
Impact of Pandemic on Printer Sales
Undoubtedly the consumer preferences have witnessed a shift due to the emergence of the COVID-19 virus. People are increasingly watching news and movies today, everything is online. Ever thought as to how would the situation change its side in a post-pandemic world? Most likely, either the world will return or what we are witnessing now would turn out to be the new normal!
Studying and working from home as a result of the prevailing effects of lockdown due to COVID-19 signifies all the printing activities from home as well. As a result, it can be assumed that with the prevailing or end of the crisis, the sale of printers will not just disappear in a flash.
As a result of precedential disasters in the late 1990s, appliances were replaced and consigned. The ones which replaced them prevailed even after the situations became better. The question now is, will the sale of printers keep declining to a point of no sales?
Impact on various institutions and their sales
Deloitte Global predicts that home printers will fall somewhere in between. With the imposing of restrictions as a result of lockdown, the Sale of printers has risen because of both parents as well as their kids being stuck at home.
Even though tasks and assignments are slowly turning to be paperless, some documents are wanted as hard copies. This has led to a rise in the demand for ink, paper, and undoubtedly printers having an advantage over cost of ownership, packaging, and quality printing with the growing markets.
As far as printing revenues are considered, healthcare forms, banners, and signs, mail publications are a few of the industries that have witnessed an increase in demand irrespective of the 30% decline in the revenues generated by industries. Similar to a plethora of unstable economic predictions, the printing industry has conflicting factors. But with early signs of demand increases with the opening up of offices and companies, the sale of printed products would increase too, resulting in boosting the sales of printers for a safe head start.
Effects of COVID-19: Data speaks louder than words
As a result of Print indicators research, it was cognized that nearly 80% of the companies have resulted in lower sales with an average decline of 27.3% Though many companies struggled, 20% of the commercial printers were able to increase their sales volume with an average increase of 34.9% of people. The COVID-19 products or positively-resulted markets with the emergence of it like healthcare, packaging, as mentioned before, have resulted in increasing the sale of Printers to a large extent, strategically capturing opportunities while helping in such difficult times.
With turning the page over to the times of pandemic, I am sure that the primary side will be one where printers mean more than they used to do earlier.
A bright road ahead
Despite numerous hindrances, the print industry remains vital as ever; brands and people worldwide benefit from the industry throughout the outbreak. In the long run, technological developments along with innovative ideas and the resilience of talented people working in the industry will help assure a future where the print industry, just like post-Covid-era, would thrive with the competition.
The Print Industry deserves all the recognition for its continuous efforts for and towards the masses!
Table Of Contents
- 1 How did the pandemic change different sectors associated with print?
- 2 The Print Media Industry
- 3 Print Media
- 4 Mass Media
- 5 How well did the print media industry manage to survive covid-19 and its impacts?
- 6 COVID-19: Advantages to public and market
- 7 COVID-19: Disadvantages to public and market
- 8 Print housing and it’s status
- 9 With economic activities returning to normalcy, print media continue providing undisrupted services
- 10 Print Product: Demand vs Supply-side!
- 11 Market forces and printing Industry
- 12 Impact of Pandemic on Printer Sales
- 13 Impact on various institutions and their sales
- 14 Effects of COVID-19: Data speaks louder than words
- 15 A bright road ahead