Newspapers- Digital Print Solutions Provide Revenue Opportunities

Digital print solutions are giving print service providers (PSPs) the opportunity to help newspaper publishers increase readership and revenue, while decreasing costs.

Chicago’s Newsweb Corporation is poised to install its second TKS (Booth 3340) JetLeader 1500 inkjet press to run in parallel with its existing JetLeader 1500, in production since last October. The JetLeader 1500 is allowing Newsweb to secure more business opportunities, including small-run titles and special and zoned sections due to variable-data capability.

One opportunity in the newspaper market, reports Will Mansfield, Worldwide Marketing Director for Inkjet Printing Solutions, Kodak (Booth 3187) is helping the publisher implement color where it wasn’t used before or it was used sparingly, a possibility now with the “new breed of high-speed inkjet systems that can produce color pages cost-effectively in small quantities,” says Mansfield.


Geocoding drives opportunity

Another way newspapers can increase revenue, says Mansfield, is through the creation of more targeted inserts with geocoding, made cost-effective because of inkjet heads that replace the black plate. More targeted inserts open up advertising for smaller stores and companies to become engaged in using newspaper as the delivery method of targeted marketing message.

One of the things that is driving change in the marketplace and driving opportunity digitally is globalization. “There is a lot of opportunity in decentralized production; globalization and fragmentation play well into digital printing realm,” says Doug Sexton, Global Publishing Market Development for HP (Booth 1241) Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions.

Newspapers, such as The Financial Times, are printing ex-pat editions at remote sites using a HP high-speed inkjet web press. Last October, The Financial Times expanded into the Latin America market with the launch of a digital newspaper print site in Sao Paulo; the paper is available for sale in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia.

Kodak, too, is finding success abroad. Same-day editions of Le Monde are distributed electronically and then printed in tabloid form, a few hundred copies in major cities.

“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 charge 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 manroland 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 print 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 like offset. “