Sunday, August 12, 2012

Doom and Gloom for the Printed Page or Hogwash!

We had an interesting thread debate on the Print4Pay Hotel forums this past week. 

I posted an article that was titled "Dead-tree format's demise is slow, steady", posted my reply and then asked to hear from other P4P'er for their thoughts in reference to the growth for the printed page or is it really dying a slow death.

The article went on to state that paper demand in 2006 and has declined each year by 3-10 percent year over year and is now down 20% or more since the 2006 peak.

This was my repsonse on the forums:

I read a report the other day that stated the US printed page volume will reach 1.2 trillion pages in 2014 for the FIRST TIME. I think this was from IDC which is well respected.

As I was driving to an appointment today I was thinking about all of these reports and thought that the paper sales would even be a better indicator of what is going on. Wallaa, I had the above article in an email today!

The gist of the report is that cut sheet paper sales continue to lose steam, and has not rebounded to the levels of 2006. The culprint, smart phones and ipads, but......maybe it's still the sign of the piss poor economy. The downturn for my sales (copier, mfp)  and I think others will agree started in 2007 and has continued to this day. So, I'm kinda blaming the world wide recession for the downturn in paper, yes people tell me that they are emailing more, not faxing as much but I'm not seeing the reduction in printed pages from my accounts, yet.  Maybe it's to early to blames the iphone, smartphones and ipads.

Would like to hear comments from others do you agree, disagree?


I think this can be very easily misleading. The proliferation of duplex printing over the last 5-10 years has increased significantly, even home printers ship with duplex now. This will impact paper sales at least 6% IMHO. Also a 6% revenue drop? I'm pretty sure the market price for cost per pages (on consumer and business alike) has dropped easily 5% per year. Even if you take into account increases through color it still doesn't add up.

So I'm still firmly in the camp that the increased volume and availability of digital content is actually increasing volumes in line with IDC's report - we are just all going to make less money providing each page.

I do however think users are smarter on how they print pages, I have seen a huge trend here of users going to a local store to get photo prints done rather than costly consumer inkjets.

Anyways that's my rant!


I just billed my largest printer sale ever this week.

People will always need and want paper. The economy has more to do with this than anything. Things are so tight people are squeezing not just pennies but even fractions of pennies.

There's additional responses to the thread, for those of us that sell machines that print on paper we're not sure if print is dead yet, and if it is dying a slow death then most of us are not seeing it yet.  I guess the we'll be able to figure this out if and when the economy picks up and if the economy never picks up then I would tend to think that the article was true that the printed page is declining but not due to the proliferation of ipads, iphones, and smart phones but due to a global recession.

Go here to view to the other comments.

-=Good Selling=-

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