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Monday, 29 September 2014 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

I was amused to read about the latest report from OFCOM, the UK’s Communications regulator, which suggested Britons are now spending more time on technology than they spend asleep. The reason I was amused was that when I read about it in a newspaper, I was in the middle of doing the Coast to Coast walk across the North of England, devised by the famous rambler Alfred Wainwright.

In the course of thirteen days I was hiking the 192 miles from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hoods Bay on North Yorkshire. For the majority of the time I was totally devoid of any Internet signal and after around fifteen to over twenty miles a day to walk, sleep was the most important thing on my mind – not answering emails. Of course at the end of the day, we were blessed, if that’s the right word, with wireless internet at our bed and breakfast stop overs, but I can assure you that I was not contributing to OFCOM statistics.

The Mulvaneys at end of Coast to Coast Walk

The Mulvaney’s at the end of their Coast to Coast Walk and no technology in sight –
not even a razor!

In the Digital Era – The Threat and Opportunity for the Printing Industry

The report however did have some serious points to make and included some which are very relevant for the printing industry. OFCOMs main point was that UK adults are spending an average of eight hours and forty one minutes a day on their media and internet devices compared with eight hours and twenty one minutes asleep.

As well as the adults, they also surveyed the young and found that amongst the 16–24 year olds people were doing more than one online activity managing to fit over fourteen hours of technology exposure into a little over nine hours. This age group were asked which form of media would they miss most and worryingly for us in the printing industry only 2% said that they would miss newspapers and magazines – since most of the news and features were sourced online. They told OFCOM in the survey that they are watching a lot less live TV than adults and listening to a lot less live radio, preferring to get their entertainment on YouTube and streaming services.

I guess it means that the printed media is going to have to make a much better case to be considered by those brand media buyers if they want to keep a share of the budget. More personal and targeted printed media is going to be popular – think photobooks and personalised catalogues, as is the premium end of the market – coffee table books and magazines.

Benny Landa’s Nanography® printing will have a part to play in helping printers deliver benefits to brand owners and media buyers, when it comes on stream next year, but it will no doubt be an increasingly competitive market for printers if OFCOM is to be believed.

Back on the Coast to Coast Walk, my focus was on completing the journey to Robin Hood’s Bay, and getting to bed by 10.00 pm for a good nine hours sleep with the iPhone off was the most pressing concern for my thirteen days on the road!

Image source (bottom):

Landa S10 - Printing Press