Innovation That Matters

Personalised newspaper targets young readers

Publishing & Media

The death of the newspaper may be oft-discussed and widely predicted, but every once in a while a bit of evidence comes along suggesting that those predictions might be premature. Last year we saw the arrival of The Printed Blog, which aggregated blog content into a newspaper package tailored for local readers. That effort didn’t survive the year, but now a German counterpart has picked up the torch and revived the idea with a personalised web-to-print newspaper service aimed at young readers. Launched in November for Berlin residents, Niiu has partnered with 17 daily papers—both national (such as the Berliner Morgenpost, Der Tagesspiegel and Bild) and international (including the New York Times and the Washington Times)—to give readers a choice of content. Customers begin by selecting which pages or sections of those papers they’d like to fill their own 24-page publication, as well as any content they’d like included from hundreds of online RSS feeds. Those who don’t want to specify their content piece by piece can also choose from a variety of predefined profiles focused on emphases like fashion or business. The paper can be further customised with a name and a color for the front and back; users can even choose to add a greeting, slogan or uploaded photos. Then, following an entirely outsourced production process, the resulting creation is delivered to their door. Orders for a single issue need only be placed by 2 p.m. for next-morning delivery. Per-issue pricing is EUR 1.20 for students and EUR 1.80 for everyone else, with an introductory offer of three free issues. Cofounder Wanja Oberhof explains: “It’s an individualized paper which has a wide appeal because people, especially students who grew up with the Web, want to get their news from different sources.” Despite the diversity of media they’re familiar with, however, such readers still prefer print, he told The Editor’s Weblog: “We asked this target group which is the most comfortable and which is the best distribution channel; is it an e-paper, is it only on mobile, is it printed or online? The feedback was that for now, paper is still the best distribution channel.” Niiu is currently available only in Berlin, but it plans to expand soon to other German cities. And with its highly targeted model—benefiting not just readers but advertisers as well—the concept might just work. Definitely one to watch! (Related: Web-to-print tool creates personalised magazinesCustomised magazine from Lexus, Time & AmexMagazine publishing for everyone and every nichePersonalised music mag.) Spotted by: Lieke Voermans



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