There’s something about holding a printed magazine or newspaper in my hands that will never be replaced with digital subscriptions. We now have the ability to take our digital magazines anywhere via iPad, iPhones, Tablets and Laptops. Still, I love the feel of paper in my hands. A beautifully printed 2-page spread in a magazine is still much more striking to look at than a wallpaper size image. Having worked in the print world for a number of years, I can tell you it’s not easy to make money there. There are a number of reasons why that is. Unsold issues left on newsstands, high cost of printing and distribution, and of course a high percentage of people will spend all day at the newsstand reading through their favorite titles and have no need to take one home.
Today, I learned about Meganews Magazines. The world’s first automated newsstand. You can browse through titles, view a preview of your selected magazine, then purchase it with a credit card. In two minutes, the magazine is printed for you right there at the newsstand. This could very well be the future of the newsstand. Publishers no longer have to send stacks of magazines to newsstands around the world. One negative to this that came to mind instantly is the possible wait lines for your turn at the machine. Print newsstands are nice because 5-10 people can be looking at the same magazine at the same time. Having 5-6 available screens could cause a backup and if you’re in a hurry, such as in an airport, you may pass the machine up.
Overall, I like this new idea and I hope it takes off in places like airports and train stations. You are still getting a printed magazine and it costs the publisher less to get it in your hands. This could mean a wealth of new titles that otherwise wouldn’t ever make it on the standard print newsstand.