Customized Content Keeps Climbing

July 3, 2007

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Customized content is growing at a faster rate than traditional media, according to “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Custom Publications in America” from the Custom Publishing Council (CPC), in cooperation with Publications Management newsletter.

Key findings from the study:

  • More titles: The number of unique custom titles being published in North America increased for the fifth year to 125,044 in 2006??”an increase of 29% since first measured in 1999. This is an average of 2.3 titles per company.
  • More revenue allocated: Custom publishing spending by corporate America continued its seven-year growth run, hitting an all-time high of $55.6 billion in 2006. Spending on custom pubs has more than doubled since first tabulated in 2000. Excluding costs related to personnel assigned to custom publishing projects, spending was $37.3 billion.
  • Unique pages: The total number of unique pages produced in 2006 was 26.2 million, up 3.2% from 25.3 million in 2005.
  • More pages: The average pages per issue remained consistent at 25, up 80% since 1999.
  • Magazines outpace newsletters: In 2005, magazines became the most common publication format, beating out newsletters for the first time since 1999. In 2006, the popularity of the magazine format grew even more, comprising 41% of the market share while the use of newsletters dropped to 35%. The use of online publications in 2006 rose slightly from 15% to 17% while tabloids remained consistent at 8%.
  • Use of color: More companies used all four-color printing in 2006 (62%) than ever before; 80% used only some four-color.
  • Decreased circulation: Circulation per issue for custom publications decreased this year for the first time since 2001, although total average circulation has increased 80% since 1999.
  • Drop in paid advertising: For the first time since 2002, paid advertising in custom publications dropped, to 29% from 34%. However, the percentage of custom publications carrying paid advertisement more than doubled since 2002, when only 14% carried paid ads.

The research, published in April, was conducted by Publications Management, a newsletter tracking the custom publishing industry. The research was conducted by mail targeting a random sample of companies across all industries, with 200 respondents.

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