A possible future for NewsPrint? – Part 1


Here I am again gassing away about an idea that I shared with some people I know (Andy Frazer & Andrzej Wojtowicz) on our Linkedin Tunicca Premedia Lounge, the idea focused about a kiosk for newspapers that provided user focussed content that was printed on demand.

Originally I was thinking this was a bit of a dumb idea, but through email discussions with the guys it would appear that actually we could actually be on a winner here….. let’s look at what it would be and why it might actually work!

Starting with the kiosk idea, well, when we are out and about we see various types of kiosks already, really in open spaces as we have far too many vandals in the UK, but in public places with easy access and high traffic volumes; namely I’m thinking of these ones:

  • Ticket machines
  • Passport Photo Kiosk
  • Digital Photo Kiosks
  • Internet Kiosks
  • Vending Machines

vendingcig machine
You get the drift here….

We’ve even started to see (albeit a little to small for this project) but mobile device charging stands. So the idea of self service is nothing new to the consumer, the consumers actually have the freedom to pick and choose what news content they wish to read when they are on the web; with the raise of mobile devices like the Blackberry and Iphone, even more people dip into the news on them while mobile….

But what if, a consumer could go to his local newsagents on the way to work and a personalised copy of his news is there waiting for him, or he states an arrival time at a destination station where he would collect his paper from. What about getting on a flight and being able to select the language of the paper you wish you read as well as the type of content….

What would you pay? We’re currently happy to pay up to £2 for a newspaper and we’re happy to pick up the disposable ad ridden free papers on our way home, both times we have content a few hours old, so what if that content was uber current, what if you could change your preferences as you like…. you can on the web, so my not on paper, what if you don’t want advertising just pure news (take the New York Times ‘Times Reader’ as an example. Even cash is now electronic in the form of prepay cards, credit cards, bank cards and online virtual accounts.

All the content already exists as digital content that is tagged with all types of keywords & metadata about it, it all already exists in the cyber world for free, yet we still use paper based products, so why not give them the upgrade they really deserve.

Could tomorrow’s newsstand be a super fast low maintenance digital print shop???? I would like to see this idea become a reality. It really would take POD to the next level with some many different applications that could utilize the speed and efficiency of the aggregated online world into the paper form to read on the train or in the park for example.

I could talk for hours on this one, but I hope you can viualize from this image what the future may look like when you collect a paper in years to come.


Author: Gary George

Tags: ,

17 Responses to “A possible future for NewsPrint? – Part 1”

  1. Newspaper kiosk- is the future a digitally printed paper, on-demand? Says:

    […] Professional user, now turned industry consultant, has what I think is a great idea… Newspapers printed on-demand via kiosks! Check out his blog post on this brainstorm: On-Demand Newspaper Kiosks “Here I am again […]

  2. Daniel Says:

    why should i have to stop ANYWHERE anymore? it seems to me that if i can get the paper at a stupid kiosk electronically, i could get it sent to me electronically no matter where i am.

    These kiosks are useless middle men.

  3. tele2002 Says:

    Daniel, a good question and one everyone that still reads paper based products can answer, you are right you could get the paper delivered to you anywhere, but the point here is that people still have a desire for paper based news, so the kiosks do cut out the middle men and that is the massive print warehouses and the distribution networks required to get to the enduser.
    This is only an idea that would reduced the amount of waste (thus a greener solution than current newsprint) and provide people with targeted news.

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  6. Doug Firby Says:

    Interesting idea. Addresses the current limitations of mobile technology – most notably, the display issue. I wonder if will be a transitional technology or a genuine future for newspapers. Worth finding out.

  7. Twitted by erosenbaum Says:

    […] This post was Twitted by erosenbaum […]

  8. Who’s counting my output? « Tunicca Pre-Media Blog Says:

    […] These new output streams are undoubtedly distrupting the printed versions reducing the order quantities, but new models for distribution to reach the reader base need to be explored, it’s not that people are anti printed material, but they want the convience to get it when and where they want, why is it that subscription prices are so much lower that the shop shelf price…. and maybe it could fit into my vision of a possible future of news print….. […]

  9. Is the UK Cashing in on Advertising? « Tunicca Pre-Media Blog Says:

    […] TechDirt with the same title and adding my own comments, but it actually brings me back to my own A Possible Future For Newsprint series where if you are paying for the content, why not choose the content you want to read. […]

  10. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by tunicca: @simondolan Configurable POD Newsprint, concept needs attention 4 part blog reading part 1 http://tiny.cc/LnEBB

  11. Michael J Says:

    I’m glad you reposted on this app. I liked it the first time. Consider that the tech for aggregating and printing is already part of the Nov 16 launch in Berlin. http://ilnk.me/47e

    It’s a slightly different tack, but I’ve always thought a vending machine for selling 64 page 4 by 6 paperbacks on mass transit would work. I think I would buy a single issue essay on a public issue in a paperback to push away the boredom of the ride.

    Since the half life of a public issue is usually only a couple of days, the same tech is the enabler. If the espresso book on demand machinery evolves to a single purpose – 4 by 6 paperbacks – it might be possible.

    It might also get traction in education. The instructor selects the content. It’s available in the kiosk at B&N (in the States). If the student purchases by swiping an id card, the money part can be handled as appropriate to the context. In College the kid pays, or perhaps pre pays – like a meal card -, In High school the district folds the budget into the in house.

    • tele2002 Says:

      Hi Michael, I’ve looked at the Espresso BOD system and really think they have something there, maybe slightly limiting themselves on the production and the look, but the concept is great, and similar to the subject we are talking about. I know the V2 model is meant to look more like a commercial machine in the way it is presented and I hope that the bookstores see the oppertunity of the device from a wider view point (rather than the sales they may lose from having the device in terms of profit) when you apply your idea of educational books into this, it would mean that the content can evolve without the waste that is currently involved, the downside is that in the US the secondhand book market is so big that the new method of delivery would need to be low enough to challenge that market in order to be a real success (correct me if I’m wrong)

  12. Martin Shaw Says:

    What a very interesting take on the newspaper distribiution channels, I can’t help but think of so many other applications to this idea as well, the commentor Michael here speaks of how it could be used in education which is a great idea not just for the publications, but assignments, handouts, college/school information, student bodies etc etc

    I like how the writer of this blog has displayed how they see it used in the newspaper or news delivery systems, but how about mobile phone shops where they currently print mind blowing sales brouchures full of all the information that you are not looking for, what if you could obtain just the info you are after, say netword deals, specific phone information, your mobile bill and so on, infact what if this could transform the entire printed matter for retail stores, rather than pickup the Boots catalogue you select the Boot catagories you are interested in, as a guy I don’t have much care for the cosmetics sections for instance.

    I could see this technology and concept reduce the printed paper produced so much that it would completely change the consumers interaction with the retail brand…. Jut think of the massive department store who do not produce entire catalogues because of the volume of mercendise the carry, we could got a kiosk on our way in and print all the Red Cashmire jumpers for me in size medium that are in stock in that store and where they are located…. Or a supermarket could deliver live stock and deals based on your buying preferences…. My god I can think of so many applications!

    I’ll look at the other entries on this subjuct that is on this blog as I’ve been inspired.

    • tele2002 Says:

      Thanks for your comments and suggestions Martin, you are right with the power to filter all content you could apply this concept to pretty much any channel.

  13. Michael J Says:

    My take on “the secondhand book market is so big that the new method of delivery would need to be low enough to challenge that market in order to be a real success (correct me if I’m wrong)”

    Actually the number of outlets for 2nd hand bookstores has shrunk siginificantly over the last ten years. While some are still out there, in general rising real estate values have driven them out of metropolitan centers.

    Re the espresso, I think if they or another entrepreneur would focus the tech on a single format it would open a new market. As I understand, it’s optimized to delivery “books” as defined by the industry today. That means lots of sizes and competition against traditionally produced physical books. It also means that lots of time and focus has to get involved with IP payments to the industry.

    If someone put together an output device that only produced 4 by 6 64 page paperbacks I would think the costs could be radically lower. The effect on POD might be similar to the introduction of mass market paperbacks in the 1960s. Convenience and price trump content every time with new biz models.

    There is presently no printed form for essay length content. It’s exactly that kind of content that is best in print as opposed to the web. It’s also exactly the kind of content that is necessary for nuanced understanding of complex issues. I think the ed apps are clear and numerous. But I think there is also a small but growing niche market for a public that needs to be able to learn how to think about complex public issues.

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  15. Newspaper kiosk- Is paper in digital print, on-demand, the future? | Markzware Says:

    […] now turned industry consultant, has what I think is a great idea for the future of print… Newspapers printed on-demand via kiosks! FlightCheck is a preflight tool for desktop application files and is beneficial to a digital or […]

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