6 June 2011
Innovation key to survival approaching 2020, says anaylist
TORONTO—Canadian commercial printing could be a "non-industry" by 2017, said Richard Romano, contributing editor of What They Think.

An analysis of Statistics Canada data presented by the keynote speaker at CPISC's 5th annual High Five convention at Sandman Signature Hotel Toronto Airport on June 3 suggested an aggressive negative forecast of $0 in Canadian commercial printing shipments by 2017, and a rosier prediction of $7 billion that year.
"Through the 90's we had a very healthy industry," he explained. "There was a lot of printing to drive people to the web ... sowing the seeds of our own destruction."

Richard Romano, keynote speaker at CPISC's 5th annual High Five forum

But he identified opportunities for printers to remain afloat or excel approaching 2020.

Being innovative is key, he said. "Printers have never been good at marketing themselves," he said, adding if printers help customers be successful, they will be successful.

The "new communicator" is not scared of non-print media, and will change equipment and staff to keep up with market changes, he said. "Digital presses are replacing offset – do we have people that can use them?" he asked those on hand.

He also stressed printers must recognize that printing "is not a race to the bottom" to offer the lowest price.

Meanwhile, Suzanne Raitt of Magazines Canada said at the same forum that printed news remains strong in Canada with a 3% ad revenue hike in 2010. "If they're reading online news, they're also reading a newspaper," she said. "It's an 'and', not an 'instead of'."

— Jeff Hayward
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