For all of the “Three Ps” of print magazine publishing — Postage, Printing, and Paper — publishers should be more concerned about disruptions than price increases next year.
Publishers have enjoyed gradually declining prices for paper this year. But the paper companies are in such bad shape that any further price reductions will lead to mill closures and tighten the market. In fact, RISI, a paper-market analytics firm, assumes more capacity reductions are imminent and predicts that prices for magazine-quality paper will rise 1-3% early next year.
With demand for publication printing continuing to decline, 2017 could be a good year to renegotiate printing contracts. But that declining demand also makes it likely that some printing plants or even entire companies will shut down, which can saddle their customers with unexpected costs and transition issues.