Global Printing Industry Outlook

Posted on August 7, 2019 By

The global print market is shrinking in volume but growing in value. Output measured in billions of A4 prints was 49,973 back in 2014 but is forecast to decline very slightly to 49,654 by 2024. In value terms, print output is expected to grow from a total of $767.4 billion in 2014 to $862.7 billion in 2024 – a CAGR of 1.18%.

The role and dynamics of the print industry are changing, with the main factor being the impact of the internet and mobile connectivity on the way both businesses and individuals communicate and access information. This affects every segment of the traditional printing business, changing expectations of what is acceptable to speed, relevance, and degree of interactivity of data, irrespective of the medium used.


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Key Industry Trends

  • The print industry is trying to expand beyond the traditional method of selling lots of devices, through the use of multi-function printers and transforming them into a "document hub." Along with printing/scanning/copying, large industry players have begun integrating their products with popular cloud-based apps such as Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive.

  • Large players in the industry have recently begun transforming their business models. Xerox, one of the largest businesses in the A3 market, is putting more focus on improving the A4 side of their business. Vice-versa, HP has built on the prowess of their A4 side to focus more on A3. Other print companies are moving to include packaging and labels.

  • Although traditionally overlooked, print security has risen in prominence recently, largely due to HP's raising awareness. Through the company's marketing of print security strategies, HP has forced the hands of their competitors. Now almost every major player in the industry is focused on security.

  • Many large print vendors now offer smartphone apps for printing on the go, and the next phase is printing from outside the office. People aren't tied to the office like they were in the past. This is due to public locations such as hotels, airports, and cafes, allowing people to print whatever they need at the closest public printer seamlessly. Earlier this year, Xerox announced a new product, a cloud-connected printing station targeted for public locations.

  • Another area of print which is gaining traction is "print-as-a-service," which works as a subscription model. Rather than the traditional transactions of buying supplies, print-as-a-service is automating the process further. HP is seeing more customers using their Instant Ink service, which tracks a user's machine. When the machine is close to running out of ink, the supplier sends more ink cartridges.

The printing industry is going through huge changes as it transforms itself into the essential delivery vehicle for the entire spectrum of communications solutions demanded by its clients. While print is a significant part of the modern, digitally based communications landscape, it is one of several channels in a multi-media world. Today more and more printing companies are delivering integrated marketing solutions to their clients. These integrated marketing solutions add value to their businesses by expertly combining print and electronic media to leverage up the impact of both.


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Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $6B across various industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 12 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.



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