How Much of a Cost Savings is Print vs. Digital?

For any performing arts organization, the cost of publishing program books has always been a huge cost, as well as a time burden. But with today’s modern option for digital program books, you can expect to spend far less time and money than you would be creating and publishing traditional paper program books. With over 20 years of program book production cost data to look back on, we have done the analysis to compare the cost of printing paper program books vs. producing digital program books over the course of one season. And spoiler alert: you can expect to see up to an 88% decrease in cost! 

For an average-sized performing arts organization, we’ve created a breakdown of the costs to print a season of program books (pre-pandemic). As a baseline, we treated a typical performing arts program book season as 6 program book editions at 48 pages each, and a quantity of 15,000 each:  

COST OF PRINTED PROGRAM BOOKS:

Edition #1: $6,250 (print) + $480 (shipping): $6,730

Edition #2: $6,250 (print) + $480 (shipping): $6,730

Edition #3: $6,250 (print) + $480 (shipping): $6,730

Edition #4: $6,250 (print) + $480 (shipping): $6,730

Edition #5: $6,250  (print) + $480 (shipping): $6,730

Edition #6: $6,250 (print) + $480 (shipping): $6,730

Total: $40,380

The total cost quickly reaches $40,380 to publish one season of paper program books.

COST OF DIGITAL PROGRAM BOOKS:

The costs associated with creating digital program books vary depending on whether you choose the Do It Yourself or Full Service digital package:

DO IT YOURSELF DIGITAL WITH TEXT MESSAGING CAPABILITIES TO CAPTURE PATRON DATA – $295/mo or $3,540/yr

FULL-SERVICE DIGITAL WITH TEXT MESSAGING CAPABILITIES TO CAPTURE PATRON DATA – $395/mo or $4,740/yr

Even with the most feature-rich Full-Service Digital package at a cost of $4,740/yr, you’re still looking at an astonishing 88% reduction in costs. The cost savings alone make it worth exploring. And don’t forget about the additional savings on environmental impact, waste production, and sustainability. Ready to learn more about this truly cost-effective digital publishing strategy? Contact us today to explore your options.

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