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While it can’t be denied that the media landscape is changing, print still has a very relevant role to play in today’s world. For businesses that operate in this space, agility and a real understanding of client needs will allow them to become future-focused.

This is the view of Brandon de Kock, director of WhyFive, who recently spoke at a Novus Holdings event. Novus Holdings is a South African leader in commercial printing and manufacturing.

De Kock said that there is much evidence that consumers are still spending on print. The PWC Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018-2022 shows that South Africans spent R11.5 billion on print in 2017, including R3.8 billion on books, R1.5 billion on magazines and R2.6 billion on newspapers.

“People love reading. In fact, our research indicates that people are more interested in it as a pastime than dining out,” said De Kock. “The print and media industry has much more of glass-half-full story than what is often portrayed.”

De Kock cited research from the BrandMapp 2018 survey of more than 29 000 South Africans, which shows that the percentage of South Africans who buy and read magazines has not changed drastically since 2014.

“In fact, although people are certainly buying printed media less frequently, from 2014 to 2018 the number of people who read magazines in the middle-income bracket increased by 8%, from 80% to 88%.”

In addition, 87% of responds said that they read printed community newspapers, while 80% still read printed newspapers overall.

“If a newspaper is lying around people will pick it up and read it,” said De Kock. “Also, of the respondents, 23% said they like the sales brochures and ads that come with their newspapers. This is because the content in the ads is relevant to the reader’s needs and wants.”

De Kock added that globally, printed book sales continue to outstrip that of digital books. More than 80% of BrandMapp respondents said that they buy printed books and 45% buy four or more each year.

“More than 190 million books were sold in the UK in 2018 for around £1.6 billion, making it the fourth successive year of growth in the industry,” said De Kock. “In South Africa, the 100th best-selling book in 2017 made R1 million, while the number of trade and academic books sold in the same year was 11 million.”

However, he acknowledged that for printers, publishers, authors and anyone else operating in the media and printing landscape, consumers’ needs are changing, and only businesses that embrace this change will remain relevant.

Novus Holdings announced that all its print entities will be united under the Novus Print umbrella as of June 2019. Formerly known as Paarl Coldset, Paarl Media and Novus Print Solutions, the new Novus Print entity continues to operate from eight strategic locations across South Africa with facilities around major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

The rebrand to Novus Print was done in consultation with customer feedback, which is in line with the company’s ethos of ‘where printing is personal’ and putting the customer first.

“Our print division is built on a heritage of trust, exceptional quality and personalised service excellence, and these continue to be the core values with which we operate,” said Andre Smit, Group Executive: Novus Print. “The new umbrella, Novus Print, gives us even more opportunity to maximise efficiencies, facilitate synergies across our plants and, most importantly, unlock more value for our customers in this evolving environment.”

As part of the rebrand, the company launched a video to commemorate Novus Print’s new connected focus. Watch it here: