No Long Enough Business to Sustain Print

Although the printing industry’s business has grown by 5% to 7% per annum for most of the past 20 years, that growth has permanently ended, according to Frank Romano, who holds the Roger K. Fawcett Distinguished Professor of Digital Publishing chair at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the college with America’s premiere printing & publishing curriculum.

In his opening address during the Seybold-Romano Future of Print Conference, held during the multi-topic Seybold San Francisco 2003 conference, Romano said that printing won’t be killed by online technologies, but it will be wounded and will play a lesser role in communications and society.

Romano predicted that digital devices will soon become so inexpensive that “by the year 2015, Time magazine will give away its PDA to consumers in exchange for a four-year subscriptions.” He predicted that hybrid electronic devices — the converged PDA, phone, eBook readers, MP3 players, pocket computer — will costs only $300 by 2005 and only $70 by 2015 — cheap enough to almost give away.