Mag printers champion move to digital add-on services

Pamela Mardle
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Printers championed multi-platform production technology at Publishing Expo in Earls Court 2, London, this week (28-29 February).

According to a number of printers, the ability to offer both online and print services is the future for companies wanting to keep up with industry competition, while the interest surrounding Garnett Dickinson’s Replicapps and Pensord’s Web App and CMS suggested digital offerings will draw attention from publishers.

Garnett Dickinson marketing manager Suzanne Alexander said: "Whereas before, we were traditional printers, we have had to react to the market."

Alexander said that price restrictions on website and app delivery have meant that smaller publishers have been slower to respond to the growing market for digital editions for mobile platforms, such as the iPad.

However, Garnett's complementary Replicapps service, offered as part of a print package, has brought in a surge of sign-ups in the last year. "Publishers are embracing the new digital age," she added.

WPG’s sales director Gary Williams also said that his company had "dabbled" in digital, with successful results. "So now we are focusing on that - you will get left behind if you don’t," he warned.

Louise Williams, head of estimating and costing at Pensord, said online and mobile content broadened the printer's service offering, allowing it to "keep up and promote the company as a whole."

She added that printers were still not cashing-in on digital products, which can add value for clients.

Printers stated that the event was busier and more promising than in previous years, while first-time exhibitor Cambrian Printers said that it had attracted a "cross-section of leads".

Cambrian sales executive Richard Jones said: "We came down because we heard good things from our competitors. We are happy with how the event has gone and it won't be the last time we exhibit."

Meanwhile, WPG has reversed plans to stop exhibiting at the show from 2013, thanks to this week's successful event. Williams said: "If it had been the same as last year we might not have come again but, as it is, we have already booked to come again next year."

The event takes place every year, with companies throughout the publishing industry exhibiting and trading at the show. Printers, marketers and distributors among others will return for Publishing Expo 2013 from 26-27 February next year.

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