‘Mega’ news? Digital newsstand offers periodicals printed on demand

The MOOD shopping centre in Stockholm has introduced the first digital newsstand in the world this week (Wednesday June 19th). After flicking through the digital version of a magazine, selecting it and paying for it, the Meganews Magazine prints it out for you. At the time of launch the newsstand will offer around 100 national and international magazines to choose from. This autumn, four more of these digital newsstands will be distributed around Sweden.

MOOD and Meganews Magazine say that the idea behind the newsstand is to offer better customer service without raising costs. It will offer ‘effective exposure’ to the magazines involved and importantly be more environmentally friendly. But what the newsstand also does is raise an important question about the relationship between digital and print in a fast evolving media landscape.

We live in an increasingly digital world. We have smartphone apps for almost everything, and most newspapers and magazines offer online subscriptions. Yet Meganews Magazine have chosen to place its bet with printed papers. I believe this illustrates the remaining importance of print. It shows that people still want printed material, even in this digital world.

What is most interesting about this digital newsstand though, is the possibilities and its implications. What will this newsstand mean for magazine distribution figures and geographical range? What will it mean for costs and profits? What will it mean for our relationship with magazines and newspapers? 20-30 years from now, will we all have our own digital newsstand and 3D-printer at home as well? Being able to print almost anything on demand? Furthermore, how will this new technology affect the printing industry?

The Meganews Magazine digital newsstand is a very interesting concept. It raises many questions about the future of print and digital – go check it out!

Tulsa Tollemark, Research Analyst Intern

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