Posts Tagged ‘news print’

Is the UK Cashing in on Advertising?

October 8, 2009

My old friend Andy Fraser happened to be over in Germany last week when he dropped me an email on our whole POD print concept. He found in a newsagent over there that they are already providing POD for the international editions of our favourite papers. And you know, I have myself experienced these POD papers when staying in Europe a few weeks back.IMG_0837

When sitting down for breakfast I picked up a copy of the New York Times global edition. This must of been printed locally and delivered to this and probably 100 other hotels around the area. The one thing that struck me as odd and pleasing in the same breath was the lack of advertising in this paper, other than a few scattered ads for subscribing to the global edition and then just one…. yes ONE paid advert for a watch. The following morning unfortunately someone else had got  to the NY Times before me, so I picked up The Independent International  Edition and sure enough the Brits had fully cashed in on the advertising with a total of 22 ads in the 48 pages of the paper. And we’re not talking about little classified ads here, we’re talking full page or half page in your face ads. So being that I found this a little intrusive with my breakfast, I proceeded to lookup the subscription price for The Independant and since it is clearly being supported by advertising, I was expecting a pretty low rate. But no… £894!! for the Monday to Sunday editions…. Well cotton my wee little socks, not only are they taking that daily advertising revenue, but to obtain the copy you are paying a big subscription fee (lets work that out…. emm oh over £2.40 a paper, thats over 5p a page since the edition I read only had 48 pages…..)

So, the hotel (or me if I subscribed) would have paid out all that money, to be forced to read untargeted UK based advertising (not that useful when you are in Germany knowing that you can get your tomatoes half price at Sainsbury’s that day) and filled with news that has been editorially altered to be shorter for a smaller paper!

Is there a Cognitive Mismatch Between Newspaper Execs And Newspaper Readers? I’ve been following the article on 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.
Author: Gary George

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A possible future for newsprint – Part 4

August 16, 2009

Like most things, ideas or visions need time to mature, gain momentum and have the vision crystalized by others that review that idea. So firstly, many thanks to 3 such people who over the last 2 days have helped give the idea more shape and draw some attention to it, many thanks to Michael Josefowicz, Jeff Lazerus and Peter van Teeseling for providing dialogue that has fuelled this next entry into the Tunicca blog.

Right the first topic to add to the Newspaper Kiosk idea has to be how we can actually produce the pages fast enough to ensure the consumer, commercially available products are hard to come by currently that will print 4 colour in a small format, but my old friend Andy Fraser found this one, Memjet, small enough to have a few of them in my newspaper kiosk to ensure that your personalized paper is available in seconds. This is with exploring what companies like HP, Canon, Oce etc etc might have to offer, infact these companies would actually have the manufacturing might to produce the whole kiosk unit…. News corps watch out!

Prepay CardsBut what about the way to identify who you are in order to get your personalized news out, well I’ve been thinking that a prepay card as is being used by the Evening Standard in the UK is a little clumsy as it would require a card reader, although having a manual login process via the touchscreen offers a backup, the whole kiosk revolves around speed and the ability to get that personalized news out in a matter of seconds, so how about RDIF technology, maybe embedded into a key-fob? Ok, yes the infrastructure to actually do that is now getting beyond the original scope, but since this is going to be so disruptive to the newspaper industry anyway, why not go full pelt into it and ensure that you use technology fitting to the solution.

TargetSo how about the ordering of your preference of news, Peter showed me how the Dutch website uses a target and tag cloud to decide how much of a subject you wish to receive, as the subject gets to the outside of the target the words point size decreases. Nice idea! actually uses a relatively small target, and with news being so diverse and the ability in our system to use specific search terms as well and that it is easy today to add all sorts of dynamics to data mining we could add some sliders around the target to control them.

When you choose!So one last technology to add to this equation is what the HP company already offers in the form of Tabbloid, this provides the ability to source your news from RSS feeds at a schedule of your choice and format them into printable format… What’s different from this than say Google Reader? well the fact that it formats it into a presentable format that you can print and take with you is a plus for those who want to take their favorite feeds on the go.

question markCollectively with all of the innovating websites out there, a lot of what is required for this vision is there, they just need to be bought together. It’s clear that paper based news is far from dead, but the way it is delivered needs to evolve with the consumer demand for the way it wants to be read. With the massive question mark over the value of advertising and if there is a true conversion into cash for the investment into the current publishing model, the ability to deliver focused and relevant advertising based on the subscribers demographics could provide a new lease of life and revenue for both advertiser and publisher.

Oh and I really want to add some stuff about the QR codes but it isn’t really my area, so maybe you could head over to Michael’s blog to find out more.
Author: Gary George

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

A possible future for NewsPrint? – Part 1

June 10, 2009

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