While publishers are jumping over themselves to end the printed versions of their magazines in favour of selling tablet-friendly digital editions on Amazon and iTunes, the mavericks at Swedish company Meganews Magazines have decided to buck the trend by putting the printing back into periodicals in a novel new way.
Combining an innovative use of print and the web, the world’s first automatic magazine newsstand is already up and running in Stockholm, Sweden. Powered by Ricoh printing technology, this vending machine is connected to the Internet and can instantly print a choice of over 200 magazines and journals. According to Meganews, a staggering 40% of traditional printed magazines remain unsold and go straight to recycling. The automatic newsstand saves paper as it only prints magazines and newspapers on demand.
New way to distribute and sell magazines
Swedish shoppers firstly select the magazine of their choice using the kiosk’s touch-screen, pay by credit card and then the mag will immediately be printed while they wait. Meganews say it takes less than two minutes to print a complete magazine.
As well as reducing the environmental impact of the magazine and newspaper publishing business by employing print-on-demand technology, another benefit of this system is that foreign language editions, special issues and older copies of magazines can be archived and ready to print at any time.
No firm details on a Meganews newsstand hitting the UK just yet, but keep your eyes peeled for a new kiosk located at your local train station, airport, hotel, university, hospital or supermarket in the coming months.
Great idea, would have expected the Swedes to come up with a cooler name though!
Really interesting comments. Here are some responses to specific questions.
Q: How will they attach my free gifts? A: This is not possible with the Newsstand. Instead you could add a page inside the magazine with details of how to request gifts etc. That way you will also capture the consumer details
Q: What if I want a magazine from a little known independent publisher but there are no more independent kiosks to distribute them? A: The business model is that Meganews agree distribution deals with publishers. One of the interesting new possibilities is that we can store around 200 magazines on each Newsstand. That means we can offer niche titles, back issues, special editions and so on. In fact one of the magazines available in the first unit in Mood Galleria, Stockholm is Zakka . This magazine is normally online only.
Q: What if I want five magazines and ten minutes later the queue is unbearable? A: There are 3 Point of Sale terminals on each unit. It takes no more than 2 minutes to print each magazine. (What happens if there is a queue at a traditional news stand?)
Q: They would far better invest in some wonderful software that instantly records sales of each particular magazine and set trigger numbers for when regional printing machines churn out additional batches for local distribution. A: You can track indivdual magazine sales via the Newsstand. And of course all titles installed on the Newsstand are always available!
Hope this helps
Many thanks for answering Arabella’s questions, Roger. Any news on a Meganews kiosk coming to the UK?
Sounds good….. on paper! I’m not convinced. I do not recall a grand roll out of the newspaper printing kiosks that were launched years ago following their “remarkable success”. Many people nowadays subscribe to online magazines which works well for technical fields and could cut waste in that department. But for the social reader, a good browse of the magazine racks, a flick through the issues to see what catches your eye and a nice conversation with the retailer about how he sold you a duff lottery ticket last week is far more enjoyable. How will they attach my free gifts? Who will instantly replace the magazine if it comes out damaged? What if I want a magazine from a little known independent publisher but there are no more independent kiosks to distribute them? What if I want five magazines and ten minutes later the queue is unbearable? They would far better invest in some wonderful software that instantly records sales of each particular magazine and set trigger numbers for when regional printing machines churn out additional batches for local distribution. Like the self checkouts in supermarkets, they seemed like a good idea at the time but require constant manning!
Some thoughtful bones of contention you have there, Arabella. I wonder how Meganews would counter them?
I love this idea, absolutely brilliant and very ‘Green’ too. I would definitely use it, if it was launched in the UK.
This is pretty impressive imo, very clever idea!
I was actually in Stokholm recently and heard about this new development. It’s definitely helpful to the guy in the street – on the move, that can’t print personal interest stuff off in the office. It will also catch on I’m sure at transport terminals – for travel and wait reads.
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