Page 12 - Sustainable Times - Summer 2013

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print on demand
The News Stand
of The Future
The transition from a ‘print and
distribute’ model to ‘distribute and
print’ has transformed the way
documents are created in many areas
of life, from airline tickets to bank
statements. Could it also change
the way our favourite magazines are
This is the question posed by the
development of the world’s first print-
on-demand news stand by Swedish
company MegaNews, in association
with technology consultancy Sweco and
industrial design company LA + B.
Together, the three companies have
created a magazine vending machine for
use in areas where traditional news stands
don’t exist or where there is demand for
24/7 availability or greater choice, such
as in airports, railway stations, hotels &
resorts, shopping centres and hospitals.
Instead of buying a magazine that
is printed centrally and then distributed
to retailers, the MegaNews kiosk lets
you select a magazine via a colour
touchscreen display, pay for it with a
credit/debit card and wait two minutes
while it is printed, bound and output on
the spot.
Eliminating over-supply
A print-on-demand model overcomes
the two major drawbacks of existing
distribution methods: the expense of
transporting magazines and newspapers
to retailers, which can account for 10% of
a magazine’s entire cost structure; and the
cost of over-supplying printed copies.
Because publishers don’t know where
consumers will buy their magazines,
they tend to print and distribute 30-
40% more copies than are sold. This
adds significantly to printing, paper,
distribution/collection and recycling costs
– and to the overall carbon footprint of
printed media.
According to analysis by Innventia, a
single copy of a typical Swedish magazine
printed at a MegaNews kiosk produces
60% fewer GHG emissions in its lifecycle
Could the MegaNews kiosk be a more economical and sustainable means
of distributing newspapers and magazines? James Goulding reports
than one printed and distributed in the
traditional way.
This is a rough estimate based on the
assumption that due to surplus copies and
waste in the printing process, 2.2 copies
will have been printed for every copy sold
in the conventional way. It doesn’t include
emissions created by MegaNews’ servers
or those associated with the manufacture
and installation of its kiosks (or traditional
printing presses). Nor does it take into
account the additional copies that could
be generated by MegaNews’ model.
Extra sales channel
From a publishing perspective, one of
the most exciting aspects of this system
is that it gives publishers an additional
sales channel for no extra cost. All they
have to do is supply print-ready PDFs
that will already have been produced as
part of the normal production process.
MegaNews then pays a commission for
every copy printed and sold.
This model has particular benefits
for niche publishers that are unable to
finance mass printing and distribution,
but which might have large numbers of
potential readers who will now be able to
find and print their magazines on demand.
MegaNews founders Lars and Hans
Adaktusson hope that giving people
the ability to print magazines that
would otherwise be unavailable will
increase news stand sales and maintain
the relevance and importance of print
media in the digital age.Whether the
public agrees should become clear over
the next few months as kiosks and their
underlying technology are trialled in a
number of locations.
The first MegaNews kiosk is already
up and running in the MOOD shopping
centre in Stockholm, and three more
are soon to be installed at Landvetter
Airport, Skavsta Airport and Elit Avenue
Hotel in Gothenburg. All going well,
there will be a full roll-out next year.
MegaNews currently sells more than
100 Swedish and American magazines
from leading publishers such as Bonnier
Tidskrifter, Aller Media, Albinson & Sjöberg,
LRF Media, IDG, Talentum and Medströms.
For now, magazines must be printed in
their entirety but in the future it might be
possible for consumers to create and print
their own publications using material from
a number of magazines.
The MegaNews kiosk is an exciting
response to the challenges facing the
newspaper and magazine industries at
a time of escalating costs and greater
competition from online media. In its
current form, it provides an economical
and sustainable alternative to traditional
distribution methods. In the future, it
could fundamentally transform how we
buy and read published material.
The MegaNews kiosk houses a colour touchscreen display, card
reader, Ricoh ProC 751 colour printer and EFI Fiery server.
It takes two minutes
to print and bind an
entire magazine.
In the future it
may be possible to
create customised
publications containing
material from a
number of sources.
Editor’s Choice Award
MegaNews Kiosk