Despite the lag in the availability of official statistics and the rapid evolution of the sector, it is estimated today that the publishing industries accounts for some 0.5 % of the gross domestic product across the EU27 Member States, employs around 750,000 jobs in more than 64,000 companies across today’s 27 Member State Union.
Over the past 10-15 years, the increasing use of internet and the rapid development of free-sheet press titles represent a significant challenge for the printed publishing sector. As a consequence of this migration to digital technologies, the whole publishing industry -mainly SMEs- is confronted by major challenges; in particular, long-established business models. All sectors -general publishing, Scientific, Technical and Medical publishing, children's book publishing, textbooks, newspapers and magazines, national or local– must adapt to the new market environment.
Technological and economic evolutions affect both the consumption patterns of publishing products and production processes. The need for innovation thus occurs both upstream and downstream in the value chain. This twofold requirement must be considered together.
The requirement to ensure the widest possible diffusion of technological and business innovations -shared by a maximum of publishing SMEs- extends beyond economic issues to embrace the democratic life of our societies as well. These innovations relate to new contents, new business models and ultimately new technological devices; their rapid adoption is now becoming vital for the publishing sector.