Digital print solutions are giving print service providers (PSPs) the opportunity to help newspaper publishers increase readership and revenue, while decreasing costs. Newspapers have under a lot of pressure for the last several years, notes Bryan Yeager, Associate Director of InfoTrends...
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“Commercial printers team up with companies who distribute the paper,” explains Mansfield. “They are using the same equipment to print the newspapers on the graveyard shift.”
Implementing a gaming or sweepstakes contest into the newspaper, another revenue driver, is also made possible by adding an inkjet head to the press or on the finishing line. Consumers are enticed to purchase the paper because they have a chance of winning with every newspaper buy; in effect, the newspaper becomes its own lottery ticket.
Publishers are able to more for ad space on the pages that run opposite where the game is located. Kodak’s Prosper S-Series Imprinting systems allow inline digital printing on an offset press, allowing printers to incorporate variable data while running at full press speed. “Data shows increased circulation as well as ad sales for publishers that make this change,” says Mansfield.
In Germany, Axel Springer, which owns the newspaper Bild Zeitung and also contract prints other newspapers at sites around the country, runs a Kodak Prosper S30 mounted on a man roland Colorman web press. It uses the S30—which runs at press speed—to print variable lottery numbers, variable QR codes and changing artwork across the web.
“What we are finding is that everyone buying these digital presses and doing newspaper production are also doing other things,” says Sexton. “The quality differentiation is a big deal; with our digital presses printers are able to not just newspapers but also marketing brochures and targeted inserts that make it relevant to that particular region.”
In northern Italy, Centro Stampa Quotidiani Spa (CSQ), is using an HP T230 color inkjet web press to print newspapers and regionalized inserts, as well as foreign newspapers, which it only prints during the summer tourist months. The printer will also be able to insert information for a specific city or area, or produce variable editions of a property newspaper based on local distribution requirements.
“We’ve been looking at this market for many years, in fact, we looked at digital printing first for newspaper printing,” says Sexton. “They are pretty straightforward for us to print. The papers themselves tend to be thin and lightweight and the classic inkjet that uses dye-based inks couldn’t get good color saturation and the show through was too much. We have this bonding agent that traps the pigment of the surface, so the ink doesn’t penetrate into the surface and the end result looks look offset."