Monday, April 20, 2009

Digital Print: The Next Frontier for Newspapers?

THERE’S been a lot of discussion on The Digital Nirvana about the ways digital printing is currently being used for newspaper production, as well as some future applications. While there’s no doubt that the ways of which people consume news and information is changing, it’s also clear that some new business model concepts for newspapers are still utilizing print as a main distribution method. Two hybrid models that come to mind include the previously-mentioned Printcasting, as well as a start-up called The Printed Blog. Each relies on reader-generated content, news aggregation, localized/targeted advertising, and (of course) print.
InfoTrends recently conducted an extensive study to understand present and future digital print applications within the newspaper industry. The result of our research can be summed up in The Emerging Digital Printing Opportunity in Newspaper Publishing, which details:
* - An overview of the newspaper industry
* - Current newspaper production workflow
* - The case for moving to digital newspaper production
* - Existing and future applications of digital newspaper production
* - Adoption challenges (hardware, software, and recycling considerations)
* - Recommendations for greater digital print adoption with newspaper
As existing newspaper publishers think about new ways to bring back print advertising dollars, they need to look not only at online models, but also how they can differentiate their print offerings. Digital printing can be utilized not only as a means for short-run production, but also for personalized content and targeted advertising. One of the things that we found when talking with some newspaper publishers is that there’s a lack of awareness about the possibilities that digital printing can offer to newspaper production. Market education is key. Reports like this one, as well as digital printing hardware vendors providing clear proof-of-concept applications and case studies of digital newspaper production successes can give a glimpse to newspaper publishers about new opportunities they can take advantage of.
So what are your thoughts on digital printing for newspaper production? Let us know.


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