"India: Ad Market Has Kept Print Relevant as a Medium"
"Australia: Fringe Magazines Find Their Niche"
"China: Private Financing Nurtures Small Printer Amid Economic Downturn"
"France: Robot Prints Messages of Hope"
"Philippines: Election a Boon for Local Printers"
"United States: Retired Colonel Sees a Rich Future in Hardbound Print"
"Strategy: Magazine to Include Digital Device to Access Online Content"
"Strategy: A Quick Path to Magazine Editor and Publisher"
"Strategy: Wrinkle-free Era Begins With New Printing Press"
"The Future: Organ Bioprinting Research Receives Major Commitment"
"The Future: Ink-jet Printer Can Detect Toxins"
"The Future: Inexpensive Thin Printable Batteries Developed"
"The Future: Big Money for Chip-printing Technology"
India: Ad Market Has Kept Print Relevant as a Medium
Transforming from a 'commodity' to 'brand' is a huge step that allows many options.
Bennett, Coleman, and Co. (BCCL), publisher of newspapers that include The Times of India and The Economic Times, has been able to agitate the advertising market by selling ad space in return for a stake in a client company, says S. Sivakumar, the CEO of BCCL's Times Private Treaties. "In terms of fulfilling key objectives which we set out for—to transform India from a commodity nation to a brand nation—we have made a beginning," he notes. "The second was to stir the advertisement market. Third is value creation for Treaties advertisers. The ad market has grown faster in the last three years and it has kept print as a medium very relevant. Also, [our] market share is maintained even in a slowdown." Sivakumar says the only qualification his company considers in a Treaties client is their desire to advertise, and he notes that the company only gets paid when it is able to sell the shares. "Every media house is scared that the advertisement revenue from a single advertiser should not be so dominant that they start influencing the media," he observes. "So every media house is concerned that not more than 3 percent should come from a single advertiser. Treaties was born out of this fear."
From "Ad Market Has Kept Print Relevant as a Medium"
LiveMint (07/27/09) Sahad, P.V.
Australia: Fringe Magazines Find Their Niche
While overall magazine pages decrease, titles are still on the rise because of the niche focus that many advertisers and marketers are willing to support.
News shops in Australia are offering a wide variety of small-time niche magazines that are finding their own specialty audience, such as "The Spirit Guide to Spellcraft - A Comprehensive Guide to Magick in the Southern Hemisphere," a guide for aspiring witches who may have been inspired by Harry Potter books or the TV series "Charmed." The magazine adapts pagan rituals for the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, opposite those in the Northern—e.g., a winter solstice ritual set for a certain calendar date does not work so well when it is Northern Hemisphere winter but hot midsummer for Australians. Editors Leela Williams and Joanne Lock are just two of the niche publishers finding an audience among people sharing their passion. Other examples include "Bacon Busters," a magazine for pig hunters; "Scales and Tails," a magazine for people interested in snakes and lizards; "Spheres," for New Age types; and "Boar it Up Ya - Shoot Ferals Australia," for game hunters. "Some of the topics and niches are quite mind-boggling," said Chris Bishops, director of Publishers Australia, which has been researching "thousands" of new niche publications. "With the increase of digital magazines, it has become even easier for an enthusiast to begin a publication and target a niche audience precisely," says Bishops. Magazines targeted to such hardcore enthusiasts are a natural fit for advertisers seeking such customers. "I have a more intimate relationship with our readers than what the editor of Cosmo or Woman's Day might have," says Williams. "We can cater to their individual needs." Another niche magazine creator, Graham Cash of the bi-monthly "Bowhunting Downunder," is a retail butcher who started his magazine after the only local bow-hunting magazine went out of business: "I got tired of waiting for somebody else to do it. I've been bowhunting since I was about five years old. It's a passion."
From "Fringe Magazines Find Their Niche"
Brisbane Times (Australia) (07/20/09) Marriner, Cosima
China: Private Financing Nurtures Small Printer Amid Economic Downturn
The challenges of financing businesses is a worldwide conundrum. Creative solutions could be the diffference between businesses that thrive or disappear.
A printer based in Wenzhou, China, managed to secure new private financing during the economic downturn by quickly responding to the new economic climate. Printer Yang Jieliang made modifications to his products such as reducing their size and simplifying their packaging in order to reduce their prices, and he also adopted new sales strategies such as allowing customers to pay off their orders later. This boosted his European orders for greeting cards, Christmas gifts, and stationery, allowing him to plan a business expansion while some competitors went bankrupt. In order to fund a 20 million yuan expansion plan, Yang invested 6 million yuan of his savings while borrowing the remainder from private individuals. This is an underground way of operating, outside the legal rules in place in China, but it has become common in Wenzhou as a means of grass-roots financing for small and medium-sized businesses. "Wenzhou's free flowing capital is huge in amount. It is profit-seeking and highly flexible. It gives strong support to small businesses, meeting their needs for renovation or change of operation, to an effect that commercial banks and the government failed to achieve," said Zhejiang Financial College professor Ying Yixun.
From "Private Financing Nurtures Small Businesses Amid Economic Downturn"
Xinhuanet (07/19/09) Heping, Zhang; Jianxiang, Yang
France: Robot Prints Messages of Hope
The Chalkbot, an SUV-towed robot sponsored by Nike and by Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation and created by Pittsburgh tech companies DeepLocal and Standard Robot, has been chalking inspiring messages on the road along the Tour de France bicycle route to help buoy the spirits of cyclists and spectators. "This project is about putting messages of hope out on the road and allowing cancer survivors to give inspiration to their family and friends," says Standard Robot President Greg Baltus. The Chalkbot travels the Tour de France route at five miles an hour a day ahead of the cyclists, using bright yellow water-soluble paint to print its messages on the roadway. While most of the messages have been written by cancer survivors or about cancer survivors, DeepLocal's Nathan Martin says that there have also been a few requests for marriage proposals. "These are all inspirational messages written by people who wouldn't otherwise be able to take part in the Tour de France," says Martin, the company's CEO. DeepLocal was approached by Nike's advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy, seven weeks ago and asked about building the Chalkbot, which is intended in part to increase awareness of cancer research and treatment for Livestrong's new campaign, "It's About You." "We wanted to tap into social media and into this idea that people want to be engaged and want to be involved and see how they can effect change beyond the four walls of their house," says Derek Kent, a spokesman for Nike, which is funding the project.
From "Robot's Road Messages Cheer Cyclists, Spectators in France"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (07/17/09) Powers, Martine
Philippines: Election a Boon for Local Printers
Elections, whether local, regional or national always provide a boost for printers and your candidate doesn't even have to win!
Revenues for printing businesses in Davao, Philippines, are expected to increase 30 percent this year thanks to the elections, although Eladio E. Aviola, chair of the Printing Industry Association of Davao, noted that national candidates still bring campaign materials from their headquarters in Manila rather than printing them locally. "They could have printed their materials here for lower costs considering that they would not have to pay for the shipping costs," he said. Aviola observed that national candidates' decision to print their materials in Manila or Cebu stems from the incorrect perception that Davao's printing industry is not up to date. "The local printing business has been modernizing since five years ago," he asserted. "And we believe we are at par with other printing capitals of the country." Aviola said his organization bought computer-to-plate printing equipment, which allows printing material to go directly to the plating section, and thus removes other processes en route.
From "Local Printers Eye 30 Percent Hike in Revenues Due to Elections"
Mindanao Times (07/27/09) Francisco, Carmelito Q.
United States: Retired Colonel Sees a Rich Future in Hardbound Print
Even a hardcore e-business, paperless program director sees great opportunities in print especially digital printing.
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Gilmore, who once led the service's e-business and paperless programs, is now marrying technology and print as president of the Book Factory, a Dayton, Ohio-based maker of custom books, lab notebooks, journals, log books, and other products. Gilmore started the company in 2003 with two employees and a single press, but now he has three digital presses, 20,000 square feet of space, 32 employees, and another office in London. Much of the business stems from hardbound lab books used by researchers and inventors to document their research and experiments. Such a book "could be worth a billion dollars" thanks to its value in settling intellectual property disputes, says Gilmore. While 30 percent of Book Factory sales come from Europe today, Gilmore is planning to stick around in Dayton, thanks to labor and overhead costs he says are competitive as well as area residents' manufacturing-oriented style. The Book Factory has also created an online gathering place called Qoop that can process photos and art from Flickr, Time Life, Facebook, and elsewhere for use on books, wrapping paper, mugs, and other products. Gilmore notes that he raised capital for the Book Factory and Qoop not from local investors or government but from Silicon Valley capitalists.
From "Retired Colonel Sees a Rich Future in Hardbound Print"
Dayton Daily News (OH) (07/09/09) Gnau, Thomas
Strategy: Magazine to Include Digital Device to Access Online Content
The convergence of print, wireless and digital all provide huge opportunities for all to benefit when worked together.
Six months after Electronic Gaming Monthly was shut down by publisher Ziff-Davis, magazine founder Steve Harris is bringing it back with several types of digital content in addition to print content. "The new Electronic Gaming Monthly will let you take your magazine and its content from print to computer to wireless devices -- even to your television -- as well as enable subscribers and single-copy purchasers to enhance that experience every step of the way," Harris said in an interview with Publishing Executive magazine. The digital content could be accessed directly from the magazine's pages or with a digital device -- he did not specify just what sort of device -- included with every issue. "The digital content will not only include additional information that complements the print edition, but also will allow consumers to take the magazine across multiple media formats, receive updates, and interact in magazine, video or other formats," he said.
From "EGM's Revival Both Print and Digital"
Wired (07/09) John, Tracey
Strategy: A Quick Path to Magazine Editor and Publisher
Eventually authors Peppers and Rogers "One to One Marketing" vision will become a reality. If the Internet has forced it, print will make it a reality.
Printcasting is a Colorado, US, startup that allows readers to select which articles they want in their magazines and then print it themselves. The company features a Web site where anyone can throw together a magazine that boasts their own blog posts or articles and items from blogs and newspapers that have registered with the site. Aspiring publishers pick a name and template for their paper on the Printcasting site, and then they can populate it with articles they have uploaded to the site or search topic feeds to find articles that others bloggers or newspapers have uploaded. Advertisers can put ads in the publications, while readers can print a copy of the magazine or see it online or on a mobile device. The startup is exploiting advertisers' willingness to pay much higher costs for print ads than for online ads, while eliminating the costs of paper, ink, printing presses, and a sales force. Printcasting founder Dan Pacheco believes that a resurgence in magazines can be supported through a shrinkage in production costs. Some 250 magazines have been produced since Printcasting was rolled out in March, and the Web site is starting to appeal to publishers, although it was designed for amateurs. The company signed up MediaNews Group, which owns 54 newspapers in 11 U.S. states, as a partner in June. "Print can become much more individualized, much more focused and still have a viable business model," says MediaNews executive Peter Vandevanter. "It's really borrowing from the instincts we're all developing on the Web and putting them into print." MediaNews wants to use Printcasting to produce newsletters that collect real estate articles about Denver neighborhoods and run ads from real estate agents.
From "A Quick Path to Magazine Editor and Publisher"
New York Times (07/20/09) Miller, Claire Cain
Strategy: Wrinkle-free Era Begins With New Printing Press
The 144-year-old San Francisco Chronicle, which had been operating the same presses for more than 50 years and fielded many complaints from its photographers and artists about the colors of its images, switched over to new full-color presses on July 6 with the ability to run color graphics on just about every page. "It's going to give us a lot more vibrancy and flexibility in what we do. We're calling it high-definition newspaper. It's going to be much more visually pleasing," says publisher Frank J. Vega. The newspaper touted the switch as giving it something of the appearance of a daily magazine, with hopes of being able to compete against the imagery of glossy magazines, TV, and the Internet. Many large European newspapers have seen success in recent years using color on most of their pages. The Chronicle is also switching to a slightly shorter and narrower format -- still a broadsheet, but with five columns across instead of six, which it notes will make it easier to read on local public transportation. The paper will be printed on three new offset presses owned and operated by the Canadian firm Transcontinental Printing, which also handles printing on an outsource basis for such clients as the Toronto Globe and Mail, Montreal's La Presse, and some New York Times editions.
From "Wrinkle-free Era Begins With New Printing Press"
San Francisco Chronicle (07/06/09) Doyle, Jim
The Future: Organ Bioprinting Research Receives Major Commitment
Ten South Carolina colleges and universities have been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) for tissue biofabrication research that could lead to the engineering of human organs. A large portion of the grant will be channeled into the recruitment of 22 faculty members in fields of expertise that South Carolina lacks and into transforming the Medical University of South Carolina's bioprinting lab into a tissue biofabrication facility, says Roger Markwald, the project's scientific director. Bioprinting is the printing of cells at high speeds into three-dimensional configurations. A dozen private companies currently fabricate bioprinters for various purposes, and researchers are developing techniques for manufacturing organs. Markwald says the next key milestone to be achieved is finding a way to construct "the branching vascular trees" that are needed for engineered organs to be living and viable. Once that is done, scores of people on waiting lists for donor organs will have organs cultured from their own adult-derived stem cells. The NSF grant will establish a global e-community to facilitate the development of advanced databases in vascular technology.
From "$20M Grant Awarded to S.C. Colleges"
Post and Courier (SC) (07/24/2009) Quick, David; Wenger, Yvonne
The Future: Ink-jet Printer Can Detect Toxins
When national security and printing meet they form an effective and vital partnership.
Researchers at Canada's McMaster University have demonstrated that dangerous toxins can be detected through the use of a specialized ink-jet printer. The detection of biochemical agents typically requires complicated gear and laboratory testing, but the scientists have proven that the agents can be printed directly onto paper as a biochemical ink, making such tests potentially portable and much less expensive. The ink is applied in layers that in combination react to specific agents and identify their presence through a shift in color, says Bob Pelton with the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network. The first layer to come into contact with the paper has microscopic silica particles, while the second layer contains the reactive enzyme. The enzyme is fixed in the silica and connected to the paper. Pelton says the ink formula can be customized to search for different compounds through the use of small-batch ink-jet technology. Papers printed with biochemical ink could be employed to assess the safety of water or to check for the presence of nerve gas.
From "Ink-jet Printer Can Detect Toxins"
Hamilton Spectator (07/15/09) Hemsworth, Wade
The Future: Inexpensive Thin Printable Batteries Developed
Once again atypical applications of "print" provide opportunities that yesterday's 'printer' would never imagine.
A new type of printable battery is less than a millimeter thick and can be cost-effectively produced, making many new applications with limited power requirements conceivable. "Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each," says Andreas Willert, group manager at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Germany, where a team led by Reinhard Baumann developed the battery. The printable battery weighs less than a gram and can be integrated bank cards, with 1.5 V of voltage, and its mercury-free composition makes it more environmentally friendly than many batteries. It is made up of several layers, including a zinc anode and manganese cathode, and its potential applications include improved data storage for bank cards or for greeting cards. It is produced using a silk-screen method, with a sort of rubber lip used to press the printing paste through a screen, producing individual layers only slightly thicker than a hair.
From "Inexpensive Thin Printable Batteries Developed"
Science Daily (07/05/09)
The Future: Big Money for Chip-printing Technology
Milpitas, Calif.-based Kovio has developed a technology for printing chips just like inkjet printers print on paper, which is said to have the potential to make chips cheap enough to be placed on nearly every product produced, just like barcodes are. Five rounds of funding have raised a total of $80 million in investor funding for the company, whose silicon printing platform is aimed at making barcode-replacement RFID chips but could also be used for many more applications. The latest funding round will begin high-volume manufacturing of Kovio RF Barcode chips, which the company says it can make for three cents apiece, compared to the 20 cent cost currently effective. This would allow the RF tags to be used on billions of different products, ranging from milk cartons to transit tickets, allowing new consumer applications such as using phones to buy products at a store checkout. Not only are these chips cheaper and easier to produce, says Kovio CEO Amir Mashkoori, but they are also more environmentally friendly, as a factory making silicon ink chips would use only 4 percent of the hazardous gases and chemicals that modern semiconductor plants use.
From "Kovio Raises $20 Million for Chip-printing Technology for Tiniest Radios and Sensors"
VentureBeat (07/13/09) Takahashi, Dean
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