This summer, the world’s first on-demand printing kiosk was introduced in a shopping mall in the Swedish capital Stockholm. Besides the fact that this is yet another interesting concept machine, it offers new opportunities for both print and digital media. Although the concept currently covers the bigger newspapers and magazines, such a machine can also give an impulse to independently published magazines as well as online media.
The MegaNews magazine kiosk offers some 100 national and international titles to choose from. Customers can digitally browse through the magazines on the machine’s display and choose a title. The magazine will start printing as soon as a customer has made his/her choice and has inserted the right amount of money. For this project MegaNews teamed up with electronics company Ricoh, that took care of the printing technology. Interesting about the project is that it brings printing magazines much closer to the consumer, which saves a whole lot in distribution costs and prevents publishers from printing way too much copies.
Times are hard for printed media, but they still play a big role in the contemporary media landscape. New ways of distributing and selling content, however, are necessary for the industry to survive. Many magazines and newspapers can’t afford large circulation any more, and although news and other content is overwhelmingly available online, some say that people will remain reading printed media. MegaNews Magazines jumps into this gap.
What will happen to the good old newsstand on the corner of the street, that sells newspapers to passers-by? Probably it disappears together with the newspaper, probably it gains a new role in distributing alternative printed media, as in this project in a Brooklyn subway station. Or will it be replaced by an on-demand printing robot?