Thoughts On Selling the WWW.

Individuated News

Posted by Dan Vigil on March 9, 2009

printernews-sm1As a kid I can recall fighting  with my brother over the comics section on Sunday morning. My dad always went for the sports section and my grandma pulled out coupons and specials. Often times the rest of the newspaper just layed around until it was thrown out later in the day.

What if you could choose the sections of the newspaper you want delivered every day? 

Better yet, what if you could print them out yourself?

That’s exactly what MediaNews Group intends to do with its new service dubbed “Individuated News”.  Subscribers can customize their news and print it out at home with specialized  printers.  The company will be launching the service on a test basis this summer in the L.A. market with the Los Angeles Daily News.

Because subscribers are choosing the articles they’re interested in, targeted advertising can be delivered.  It’s like Behavioral Targeting in the “real” world. 

Though the business model is still a bit murky and the company has not decided how to charge for the printers etc. it’s an idea that’s sure to catch on as the cost of technology decreases every year. 

I would suggest that they give away the printers or build the cost into the subscription fee. Being able to deliver printed materials to a consumer has far more value that the cost of the printer. I can see consumers sigining up to receive special offers and coupons from local businesses, or subscribing to content from local businesses. Newspapers can set themselves up as the clearing house for local publishers.

It’s still not clear to me why this has to be a “specialized” printer. Why not make the service available on all printers. Perhaps we can create a device that’s picks up the information and delivers it to the printer wirelessly. Subscribers could simply leave their computer on in the evening and pick up their news in the morning.

I’m excited to see where this goes in the coming months and I’m hoping to be one the first to sell an individuated advertising campaign as MediaNews Group happens to be the company that I work for.

“The Word Is Alive”


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