See Ricoh’s solutions at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015

Printing on offset paper with the Ricoh Pro VC60000

Printing on offset paper with the Ricoh Pro VC60000

Full-colour duplex printing on a paper web from roll-to-roll on the Ricoh Pro VC60000, using latest-generation Ricoh inkjet heads with a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi.

Signature, Booklet and Budget Binding Solution

Signature, Booklet and Budget Binding Solution

The 4-colour printed paper web will be processed nearline on the Hunkeler UW6 unwinding module, FM6 folder merger, and the high-performance CS6-HS cross-cutter. The SD7 double star wheel delivery unit will be stacking the signatures into book blocks for budget binding, or producing variable booklets with 8-, 12-, 16- or 20-pages. Production speeds up to 180 meters per minute, and guaranteed gentle processing thanks to the “huncolor” seal of quality

More about Ricoh’s presence at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015

How digital print technology is enabling providers to compete in a shrinking transactional market

Digital production printers were prime movers in reshaping transaction printing in the
late 1970s by enabling companies to quickly and efficiently produce bills, invoices, and
other account-based documents in a single computer-based operation. Today a new
generation of digital printing solutions is enabling the industry to respond to the
challenges and opportunities created by electronic alternatives to the mail.

Ricoh’s new whitepaper, from Interquest, explores recent trends, challenges, and
developments with transaction printing in North America and Europe. It also examines the critical and evolving role of digital printing technology, and how it is enabling providers to successfully compete in a shrinking market.

Here are some of the key insights.

Leading Market Trends - Europe

    • total decline in printed transactional pages is less than perhaps expectedINTERQUEST forecasts that transaction print volume will decline by -2.8% per year in Europe, and by -3.6% annually in the U.S. from 2014 to 2019

 

    • Faster, more capable and more economical full-colour inkjet and toner systems are helping transaction providers and their customers enhance transaction mail and improve production and delivery operations.

 

    • In North America high-speed inkjet printing has taken the transaction print market by storm. More than half (55%) of the output currently produced …

 

    • Strong latent demand for paper-based bills and statements in Europe: In Europe 83% of clients’ customers currently receive paper bills only, 13% receive electronic bills only, and 4% receive both

 

 

“We see a step forward in the move to electronic delivery, with corporate billers forcing their customers to move away from paper. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of paper printed because print provides a better response rate than electronic”.—French transaction printer

 

 

To find out more, download Ricoh’s new whitepaper: Transaction Printing in North America & Europe Market Trends & Outlook

 

Book printing – an industry in transformation

Book printing dates back to the invention of movable type in the fourteenth century. It has undergone surprisingly few process changes in the intervening centuries—rotary letter presses in the industrial revolution, lithography, and more recently, digital printing. Profound changes in the publishing industry, however, are shaking up the book supply chain as never before and remaking how, when, and where books are
printed.

Online and mobile technology has disrupted the conventional book publishing industry in relatively short order. It has touched virtually every aspect of the industry: how books are published, how they are distributed, how (and if) they are printed, and how they are read. In the process, traditional roles and responsibilities have been rearranged.

Ricoh’s new whitepaper Book Printing – the Remaking of an Industry created by Interquest examines the impact of these transformations on the book printing supply chain, and explores how and why digital book printing is being used in North America and Europe to adapt to the fastchanging environment.

Some of the key findings are:

  • In North America twice as many books are printed digitally as in Western Europe – 10% vs 5%
  • More than half (56%) of the North American book printers recently surveyed by INTERQUEST use high-speed inkjet presses to produce books
Western Europe

In Western Europe, where only 5% of books are printed digitally, the focus is dealing with shorter print runs

Download the whitepaper here.

 

Understanding the value and effectiveness of multichannel advertising

Direct mail and catalogues suffered through a perfect storm during and immediately after the recession of 2009. The sharp downturn in the global economy shrank marketing budgets as consumers closed their wallets and businesses struggled to stay afloat. At the same time maturing online and mobile channels began attracting a growing portion of advertising revenue by offering more economical alternatives to print-based marketing. To some observers, print-based direct marketing was in crisis and headed towards irrelevancy.

Despite the rapid growth of electronic forms of advertising, print media accounts for about two-thirds of direct marketing expenditures in the U.S.

Despite the rapid growth of electronic forms of advertising,
print media accounts for about two-thirds of direct
marketing expenditures in the U.S.

Since then the dust of the recession has largely settled and world economies are slowly recovering. Marketers are beginning to understand the value and effectiveness of multichannel advertising, and direct mail and catalogue volume has stablised and grown.

For marketers as well as consumers, print-based direct marketing will remain a trusted and valuable complement to online and mobile channels.

By most reckoning, however, it will never be “business as usual.” Volumes will likely never return to pre-recession levels. While marketers and consumers alike continue to
value direct mail and catalogues, they are increasingly looking for more relevance and personalised content. This report will explore recent trends, challenges, and developments with direct mail and catalogues in North America and Europe. It will also examine how developments in digital printing technology are enabling print providers to transform print-based direct marketing into a vibrant and viable medium for the future. For marketers as well as consumers, print-based direct marketing will remain a trusted and valuable complement to online and mobile channels.

Find out more – download our new whitepaper:  Direct Mail & Catalogues: The Transformation of Print-Based Direct Marketing

Never underestimate the power of Direct Mail

 

Direct mail is proving an incredibly resilient medium. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. In our information overload world, where 2,5 exabytes of data are generated each day, the noise can be deafening. Both the volume of advertising messages that consumers are subject to and the multitude of advertising channels available to brands continue to expand. In this frantic climate, it is no surprise that humble direct mail, a letter or brochure posted in an envelope, was predicted to fade away. Trampled upon by the convenience, cheapness and immediacy of the email and its attendant digital touch points.

Zig, don’t zag

Ricoh Infographic -the power of Direct Mail

Infographic -The power of Direct Mail

But wait, it hasn’t happened. Direct mail offers a number of attributes that alternative channels just cannot beat as Ricoh’s new infographic illustrates. Trust, shelf life and the scope for creativity are all vital elements in direct mail’s staying power. There is another important factor though. It is that the agency community, which thrives on freshness, and challenging accepted thinking, is turning back to direct mail as the centrepiece for integrated campaigns. Nicky Bullard, Executive Creative Director at direct marketing agency Lida says in Print Power magazine: “Clients are starting to get an appetite back for direct mail, particularly with younger audiences. Their lives have been so digital that direct mail is hugely disruptive for them.” Rory Sutherland, executive creative director and vice chairman of OgilvyOne London and vice-chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK recently said in Britain’s Cross Media Magazine, “when everyone zigs, zag”.

The future is bright

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

Direct mail volumes are holding up well across much of Europe, the use of colour is on the up, and smart print services providers are working with agencies to extract insights from data to fuel powerful campaigns across sector after sector. Particularly on behalf of premium products and services where a compelling Return on Marketing Investment can be most readily secured. Further, direct mail is bridging the offline-online gap – interactive print technologies like Ricoh’s Clickable Paper(TM) can move consumers seamlessly from print to digital to find out more or purchase an item.

The message is clear: never underestimate the power of direct mail

 

 

 

For more insights into Direct Mail see: http://www.ricoh-europe.com/services-solutions/production-printing/print-and-beyond/marketing-services/index.aspx

 

 

 

Ricoh Infographic – the power of Direct Mail

Direct mail is a vital node in the ‘connected world’ we live in. It’s a powerful medium. People like it. Respond to it. Act on it. In a blended campaign, Direct Mail creates an impact that’s more effective than digital marketing alone. In fact, in 2013, Central Mailing Services figures showed that nearly half the UK population responded to traditionally printed direct mail over the past year. Below are the seven reasons why integrating Direct Mail into your next campaign will help you market most effectively today and for many years to come.

  1.  The Mail moment – Consumers regard personalised direct mail as the trusted medium for customer communication
  2. Make People Act – 79% of consumers react to direct mail immediately
  3. The Sensory Experience – Direct Mail has a long shelf life – two thirds of consumers keep their mail
  4. Precision Targeting – top three reasons why people open mail:  contact from known brands and companies (51%), Personally
    addressed (47%), information about products or services of interest 40%
  5. Get creative – structural dimensional mail can have 20 times the penetrating power of flat direct mail
  6. Fantastic ROI –  most important more often than any other touchpoint in the consumer’s purchasing process
  7. Effectiveness – 48% of UK adults have done something in the last 12 months as result of mailing
The Power of Direct Mail

The Power of Direct Mail

 

Ricoh Direct Mail Infographic (PDF)

Find out more about Ricoh’s Solutions for Direct Mail

More statistics about Direct Mail – see: http://www.centralmailing.co.uk/

 

What the Lessons Learned in Transactional Workflows Have to Teach Book Printers

Duncan Newton, Commercial Print Product Marketing Consultant, Ricoh USA

Duncan Newton, Commercial Print Product Marketing Consultant, Ricoh USA

I once worked with a man who said he wasn’t going to anymore Lessons Learned meetings until someone learned a lesson. He was being facetious, but there was an element of truth to what he said.

Too often we overlook solutions that are developed in another discipline because we don’t believe they have any application to our specific business.

Digital book production is just such a case. When books started to be produced digitally there were no established workflows that met the needs of the printers. Prinergy, Apogee, Prinect, and even Rampage, all were built around traditional offset production systems. Their focus was on scheduling, making film, burning plates, make-ready, creating imposition schemes, signature folding, binding, trimming, etc. And, for the last 10+ years they were driven by PostScript or PDF file structures. To adapt/adopt, many digital printers resorted to homegrown systems that were built in pieces, difficult to support and still not quite what they needed.

The chief difference between offset and digital is that digital printers produce pages in sequential order. In other words, when the last signature or stacked book block is delivered from the cutter/stacker it’s ready for binding without any further operations required. The first book is ready for binding in just the time it takes to print it.

During the reign of the toner-based continuous feed presses, the easiest way to make books was to bypass the process of signature folding. Rolls of paper went in, the books were printed 2- or 3-up, slit into ribbons, cut and stacked into offset book blocks. These book blocks were put directly into a binder and then into a trimmer. Early digital book printers invented a market for extremely short-run book production where none had existed before. Fleets of toner printers have expanded from just a few machines in one shop to dozens stationed all over the world. Their internal workflow systems were 100 percent home grown and most remain essentially the same to this day.

The Tools necessary for 21st-century communications

“The ADF architecture is the foundation for numerous applications of personalized variable data printing.”

Meanwhile, the transactional printers were doing something completely different…or so it seems from the outside looking in. In 1984 IBM invented the Intelligent Printer Data Stream™ (IPDS™) architecture that still drives almost every phone bill, credit card statement, insurance explanation of benefit (EOB) and bank statement in the world. In 1996 the Gartner Group developed the concept of an automated document factory (ADF) which was built around the core capabilities of IPDS. The original ADF concept was broken down into four modules with the first three focused on the data being received into the system and managing it all the way through from production to delivery. The fourth module was a bidirectional communication control that sat on top of the other three modules and addressed the needs of management for various reports about the operation of the factory:

  • Input—all the data and the instructions that are needed to transform the data into documents processed in the ADF.
  • Transformation and integrated output – the data and instructions are joined, and the documents are produced in the appropriate media.
  • Delivery preparation—documents are prepared for delivery to the recipient.
  • Control and reporting—manages production aspects of the ADF.

The structure was later expanded to include:

  • Document design and content integration—designers and design tools were integrated with operations management and ariable data printing tools.
  • Response management—consisting of integrated response analytics.

The elegance of the ADF architecture wasn’t in the modules but rather in the interfaces that connected them.

Print and mail facilities had to be able to efficiently produce huge volumes of personalized  communications. The ADF model gave technology providers and print service providers the framework for developing and implementing the architectures and tools necessary for 21st-century communications.

The ADF architecture is the foundation for numerous applications of personalized variable data printing. Printing companies with an ADF in place are able to smoothly compile, print, mail/ship and analyze a wide range of marketing and transactional communications including CRMbased printing and TransPromo messaging.

Madison Advisors also noted that ADF handles more than just document production. “ADF now includes data management, content management and integration, color management, and document composition functions previously found upstream1.”

But what has this got to do with a PDF workflow for making books?

Everything!

Since the acquisition of the former IBM Printing Systems Division, Ricoh has continued to expand the functionality of its software suite to match an expanding set of requirements from print providers that are not doing transactional work. With the introduction of RICOH ProcessDirector, the expansion has become even more powerful and includes a list of capabilities that printers would see as exactly what they need:

  • Automated print management with scalable workflow control functions
  • Graphical workflow builder that allows you to easily apply business rules and logic
  • Optional PDF Mailroom Integrity Feature, which provides document-level control of PDF jobs and 100 percent closed loop reprint automation of PDF files without any further transforms
  • The InfoPrint Ink Suite, which can deliver quick results in ROI by optimizing files for color, automating ink usage estimates and integrating with your Enfocus PitStop server
  • A database-driven process engine with an extensible backbone for process management
  • An embedded IBM® DB2® database, a Print Services Facility print driver and a built-in AFP and PDF viewer
  • Precise management of document reprints from within your print centers
  • Ability to start small and grow as your requirements change

Each and every one of these capabilities can find a home in a dedicated book production facility or commercial print-for-pay shop. The more complex the shop, the more these capabilities become central to a successful production environment. When all these elements are put under one system’s control, themanagement of the company gains many advantages that will make their entire operation more efficient and better equipped to meet tight SLAs.

As a book printer’s business expands, the system is ready. Its open architecture is designed to be extensible to span the total production environment. Adding features like color management, imposition, or digital asset management is easy. The system is so flexible that printers do not have to abandon any of the productivity tools with which they are familiar.

Solutions for Book Printers

“As a book printer’s business expands, the system is ready.”

Plus, the entire framework is in a constant state of review and upgrade by a group of more than 50 engineers and system architects. Ricoh development is driven 100 percent by customer requirements and direct involvement in customers’ shops. These teams work in concert with customers and push themselves to create progressively better systems. Ricoh is committed to providing commercial printers and book printers with alternative solutions that support open industry standards and connections to key production print technologies across vendors. This is seen in the on-going strategy of Ricoh to make substantial investments in companies like PTI Marketing Technologies and Avanti Computer Systems, which have complementary systems.

PTI Marketing Technologies is a leading provider of webto-print and marketing personalization solutions for both enterprise users and print service providers. Together, Ricoh and PTI are bringing new technologies, software and services to market. This enables companies to drive relevant, multichannel marketing campaigns at global, regional and local levels.

Avanti’s core technologies are uniquely positioned to complement Ricoh’s offerings with advanced solutions for mixed environments with wide format, digital cutsheet, continuous feed printers, offset, and fulfillment and kitting operations.

RICOH TotalFlow Cadence for Publishing was developed around the capabilities described above, with a few significant changes designed specifically for a shortrun digital book production environment. It allows

book printers to sort and optimize books with different characteristics automatically while taking advantage of a true automated document factory.

So…what can book printers learn from a transactional workflow?

Everything!

For more insights from Ricoh see;  ricoh-europe.com/printandbeyond

Sources:

1 www.dpsmagazine.com/content/ContentCT.asp?P=417

Line of books

Direct Mail is Competing in a Digital World

[GUEST BLOG]

You might be forgiven for thinking that direct mail is old hat and that with social media, SMS and email it can’t compete effectively. Well think again – in the same way that television and Kindles haven’t killed the book, email and SMS for marketing it doesn’t mean that direct mail is destined to be the poor relation. Granted technology is constantly changing and it’s easy to think that the more traditional communication methods have become unfashionable amongst the wealth of new apps and tools available.

Direct Mail delivers significant ROI

In 2013 Central Mailing Services statistics showed that 48% of the UK population responded to direct mail over the past year. It also showed that 62% of people like to receive offers via mail and 56% of people welcome mail that provides useful information. So we all still respond well to direct mail when it is made relevant and targeted to us.

Although the prognosis for direct mail is better than most people would imagine email direct marketing is still a significant force. According to a panel of 128 senior B2B and B2C client-side email marketers interviewed for the British Direct Mail Association’s annual national client email report, 56% expect to see increased marketing budget allocation to email in 2014. Optimism for the channel’s outlook this year has been underpinned by a 16% leap in average ROI from £21.48 in 2012 to nearly £25 (£24.93) in 2013 for every £1 spent on email campaigns. This rises to an average of £30.52 for B2C campaigns.

This rise in ROI has been attributed to a heightened focus on better-targeted campaigns. There has been a strong emphasis on list segmentation as the percentage of marketers segmenting campaigns for six+ audiences rose from 29% in 2011 to 38% in 2013. Segmented emails accounted for 60% of all email revenue in 2013, compared to 55% in 2012. Increased social media activity has also made a big impact on email ROI as it has increased levels of brand engagement with consumers and helped to drive a rise in the acquisition of new email addresses.

We currently live in a world of time-starved people and most of us suffer from email overload and many messages are not opened and are condemned directly to the rubbish bin. With 300 billion messages sent each day, and a constant bombardment of marketing email after email, it makes a welcome change to receive a creative and relevant piece of direct mail when you get home. In fact, if it has some novelty value, it may well be kept and shared and it will certainly stand out from the mass of boring emails. With digital printing becoming more attractive in terms of cost effective volumes and personalised messaging, it is possible to send out something a little different from your competitors without blowing the over stretched marketing budget. Printed direct mail is now becoming so effective that its ROI has increased every year in the last decade.

The future is Omnichannel

A Direct Marketing Association study in 2013 showed that the response rate for direct mail to an existing customer averages 3.4% compared to 0.12% for email. So the next big thing for print providers is hybrid direct mail or Omnichannel – a combination of printed direct mail and online interaction through email, SMS, social media –  and all relevant channels.

Printed direct mail is now a good way to drive digital interaction and as a result digital marketing is now creating innovative solutions for printed DM. It appears that the future may well be a mutually beneficial alliance as opposed to a fight to the death.

Source: InfoTrends

Source: InfoTrends

Research from InfoTrends supports this theory that, when print is successfully combined with other communication channels into a campaign,  response rates are significantly higher.

Being creative with direct mail design and format can easily drive much improved results. The use of structural dimensional mail pieces has become very popular, making it much more eye catching and appealing than a flat piece of paper. Research has shown that dimensional mail:

  • Can have 20 times the penetrating power of flat direct mail
  • Can boost response rates by as much as 75%
  • Scores 80% or better in generating positive opinions among recipients.

Challenges for SME businesses

The biggest challenge in this area for most SME businesses is having the internal resource and expertise available to effectively manage hybrid mail campaigns. With around 75% of email marketing still being run by in-house teams, the obvious solution is for print providers to offer a combined solution of print and email to their customers. The customers would then benefit by freeing up internal resources and also having a partner with the expertise to run hybrid mail campaigns.

When print providers start dealing with hybrid direct mail it creates the opportunity to develop and expand their data management capabilities. Currently the bottleneck for the growth of Big Data management is growing the skills fast enough; a McKinsey Global Institute report projected that the United States needs 140,000 to 190,000 more workers with “deep analytical” expertise and 1.5 million more data-literate managers. So if there ever was an opportunity for growth staring you in the face, there it is.

A major part of managing Big Data projects is asking the right questions: How do you define the problem? What data do you need? Where does it come from? What are the assumptions behind the model that the data is fed into? How is the model different from reality? Listening to the data is important, but so is experience, intuition and a much deeper understanding of destination markets and consumer behaviour. After all, what is intuition and gut feel? It is the human brain analysing large amounts of data to draw conclusions rather than using a maths model.

Digital print technologies have advanced to engage target audiences through data driven personalisation in a very similar way to how email and other online capabilities have progressed. Variable data printing utilises triggers based on consumer data and segmentation to determine the messages and creative assets. Combine all these elements with timely delivery services and you have the most compelling and effective marketing channel there is.

Summary

Neil Falconer -Print Industry Strategy Consultant and MD of Printfuture.com

Neil Falconer -Print Industry Strategy Consultant and MD of Printfuture.com

So direct mail may be changing into hybrid mail and undergoing something of a renaissance, but let’s be clear the printed part of a direct mail campaign is the most important and adds the most value. As print providers we all need to spread the word that direct mail is alive and well and competing very successfully in a digital world.

This article was commissioned by Ricoh to bring you independent opinions from industry experts. We hope you find our guest speaker’s views interesting and stimulating. We would appreciate your feedback. 

For more information about Ricoh’s Packaging solutions and initiatives see:  Ricoh-europe.com/printandbeyond

Europe’s medium-sized businesses gear up to capitalise on Big Data

Big dataIn a study of European business leaders, commissioned by Ricoh[1], just one in five medium sized business leaders chose Big Data as a driver when asked to rank the technology-led activities that are having the biggest positive impact on business growth. However, further insight shows that the top three key business growth drivers for business leaders of medium sized businesses are in fact data related – first is optimising business critical processes, followed by digitising hard copy documents and  making the transition to cloud computing.  So albeit under a different name, it is clear that medium sized businesses are gearing up to capitalise on the increased benefits of better data management.

We often hear medium sized business owners comment that their data is not vast enough to be classified as Big Data – that it’s an area for larger organisations to worry about.  So, while some don’t connect with the Big Data term and may not share the same number of terabytes as their peers in larger organisations, they are not overlooking the growth of their unstructured data, which is believed to be outpacing the growth in structured data three to one[2].

The reality is they are already taking steps to manage it and many are in a strong position to do so. The Ricoh sponsored research1 also shows that the majority of CIOs in medium sized business are more empowered today to change data business intelligence processes (61 per cent) and customer engagement processes (52 per cent) than the CIOs of large businesses, where 55 per cent are empowered to change data business intelligence processes and 46 per cent to customer engagement processes.

Additionally, the SMB Group Report ‘2012 SMB Routes to Market Study’ shows that 57 per cent of medium businesses have already purchased or upgraded a business intelligence/analytics solution in the past 24 months, and 49 per cent plan to do so in the next 12 months.

How to stay at the front

There are clear indicators that the race has begun for medium sized businesses to benefit from Big Data.  But how can business leaders ensure that they gain return on investment and remain at the front of the race.  Success will depend on the route taken to change the traditional ways of working, optimise data analytics and enhance customer communications.

A study by Techaisle of 3,360 businesses shows that ‘the highest success rate (determined by reaching a successful implementation of a big data project within six months of initiation) was achieved when an external consultant or organisation was brought in to develop proof of concept, advice on database architecture and ultimately develop the big data analytics solution.’

Such findings correspond with our experiences.  Medium sized businesses are less likely to have a dedicated data analyst. The responsibility is usually in the remit of an employee who is still trying to catch up with the fast rate of development of new tools and techniques for data analytics, and they must achieve it on top of a number of other important business activities. 

Ricoh can ease the pressure of the overwhelmed employee and work alongside them to make a difference quickly.  Often we will carry out data consolidation projects (to consolidate data stored in different data silos) and data analytical projects. The goal of those initiatives is not only to improve control but also to increase sales through truly personal and relevant customer communication across all channels. We will also combine data analytics, dynamic document composition, multi-channel output management and campaign reporting (we can provide the FusionPro portfolio of personalised cross media solutions across EMEA); thereby relieving our clients of the need to make large pre-investments in new data analytical software and hardware, as well as employing a range of different, specialist third parties to prepare, execute and evaluate their personalised marketing or communications campaigns. Clients can also opt for an initial pilot to test drive the service, and get a better insight into the potential for their business.  This can be implemented in as little as six weeks which can be a critical factor in this fast-changing field.

For example, at Ricoh we conducted a Precision Marketing workshop for bonprix, a German fashion retailer, which resulted in truly individualised catalogues (personalised catalogue covers), based on data analytics and customer profiling. Barthel Roitzsch, Head of Sales, bonprix (a member of the German Otto group) told us, “The personalisation of our catalogue covers and the relevant customer communication has led to a significant increase in response rates and to increased awareness for our products”.  We can also deliver location-based services and mobile customer loyalty solutions with one of our business partners, BizScience. This service is already reaping benefits for medium sized businesses across various industry sectors, including banking, insurance and retail.

Keep on winning

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard General Manager Solutions, Production Printing Group, EMEA

Whether business leaders continue with their external partner or decide the benefits gained now justify an internal data analyst, the process must keep evolving to ensure the business continues to focus beyond gathering data to analysing and acting on the insights.   This is the only way to get newer insights into the impacts of business operations and learn more about their customers as they continue to engage with the businesses products and services.

And the end results can see businesses transform their customer relationships, increase sales, pursue more efficient operations and improve customer service.

Sources:

Flexible Production is The Future for Printed Books

eBooks may not have had as much of an impact in Europe as they have in the U.S., but demand will grow. This, along with other dynamics affecting the book printing and publishing markets in Europe, will shape the future of book production, according to new research commissioned by Ricoh Europe PLC.

eBooks represent 20 percent of book revenues in the U.S., four times that of most major European countries, where printed books are still highly prized and under a certain level of regulatory protection by the EU and various individual European governments.  In recent research commissioned by Ricoh, I.T. Strategies found that even in the U.S., nearly 70 percent of consumers said it was unlikely that they would give up entirely on printed books by 2016 and the study found that as much as 60 percent of eBooks downloaded are never read.  In Europe and other parts of the world, however, book publishing dynamics are quite different than they are in North America. Ricoh commissioned the I.T. Strategies study to gain a better understanding of these influences, the differences between the U.S. and Europe in these markets, and the changes that both book publishers and book printers in Europe can expect to see over the next several years.

Highlights

“There is a deep history of publishing in Europe and a very strong connection of publishing to the culture of individual countries. As a result, there is a common desire by the individual ECC members to protect their culture, which includes protecting the book publishing industry’s established business models.”

Major European Country and U.S. Book Statistic Summary, 2012

Major European Country and U.S. Book Statistic Summary, 2012

“Many of the larger book printers/manufacturers may have over-reached with acquisitions and aggressive price competition in the race to gain market share.  Smaller book printers/manufacturers have remained somewhat insulated from competition due to regional and specialty products focus. But at some point they may find themselves priced out of the market.”

ebook Share of Retail Revenue, 2010-2018, by Major Country

ebook Share of Retail Revenue, 2010-2018, by Major Country

The full research report can be downloaded here.