Smithers Pira: Transition from Analog to Digital Accelerates

Print market research highlights advantages of shorter runs.

Smithers Pira has released “The Future of Digital versus Analogue Printing to 2020,” a market research report indicating that the growth of digital printing’s share in the print and printed packaging markets is due to accelerate over the next five years. The report states that in 2010, digital print accounted for 9.4 percent of market value and 1.9 percent of print volume; in 2015, these figures have grown to 13.9 percent and 2.5 percent, and in 2020 are due to grow to 17.4 and 3.4 percent, respectively.

The study points towards the advantages of short-run digital printing over analog processes, with growing possibilities such as the variable-data printing of direct mail; books printed on-demand; web-to-print products such as photobooks; and more.

Other findings include:
• Advertising print and graphics account for a higher percentage of digitally printed products than packaging and publishing;
• While the average price of all print has risen since 2010, “through the adoption of more valuable digital printing and a change in the work mix to more highly priced products,” according to a release, the price for inkjet-printed products alone has dropped;
• Developments in printheads, inks, workflow technology, and substrate quality are among reasons for the accelerated adoption of digital printing processes;
• And, many print providers are choosing to employ both analog and digital processes.

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