Customer publishing set to grow further despite downturn

The customer publishing industry was worth £904m in 2007 and is set to grow to just over £1bn by 2013, according to new research from Mintel.

Customer publishing, also known as contract publishing, includes loyalty magazines, inflight titles and supermarket magazines.

The trade body for the industry, the Association of Publishing Agencies, commissioned the new research.

The £904m figure it cites comprises £473min turnover for publishing agencies, additional costs of £13m and mailing costs of £418m.

Despite the recession, Mintel estimates turnover in the industry will increase to £499m in 2008. It then predicts that turnover will fall by three per cent in 2009 but that the market will have fully recovered by 2010.

Mintel estimates that the value of the total customer publishing industry will reach just over £1bn by 2013.

The research was based on questionnaires filled out by 32 publishing companies in July and August 2008 – which together account for 731 titles and 70 per cent of the sector’s total turnover.

Mintel also carried out interviews with 20 client organisations, such as grocery retailers, professional associations, hotel/hostel chains, beauty salons, property agents, charities and musical equipment manufacturers.

The research only covered editorial publications in print and online, and did not cover brochures and catalogues.

According to Mintel, total turnover for customer publishing agencies was worth £100m in 1995, growing to £220m in 2000 and £352m in £2005.

Some 15 per cent of contract publishing titles are mainly online now, compared with five per cent in 2005, according to Mintel.

Chief operating officer of the APA Julia Hutchison said: “This latest report represents a positive marker for everyone involved in the customer publishing industry in the face of the current climate.

“While the overall media outlook is gloomy, the huge growth that our industry has experienced since the last industry research has placed the medium in a very strong position.”

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