HP, Conde Nast Partner on Print-Your-Own Magazine Program
In a world where print media is dying a slow and painful death, HP is joining forces with Conde Nast to bring print media on demand to you from your printer. Read on for the interesting proposition.
Picture it: You’re sitting at home, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, I don’t want to drive to the nearest news stand, or waste time downloading a digital version of a magazine on my iPad. No, what I really want to do is print out my favorite magazine.” That’s essentially the odd proposition HP has created with Conde Nast.
HP calls it a “a new digital content distribution medium that merges rich content and digital-to-print service.” I’m not sure how many people out there want to take their digital media and make it analog, but HP and Conde Nast apparently think it’s a real business. With all that printing, you might need some serious volume of ink. You’d be right. The “pilot” printing program is also linked to an HP Instant Ink program that provides discounts and fast home delivery of printer ink via a monthly subscription.
If you’d like to get on board with this bizarre program, you’ll need a web-enabled HP printer, and currently Allure, Details, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, Self and Wired will be ‘delivered’ to them. HP believes this system will allow publishers to “reach readers more frequently than with print magazines and more tangibly than via email.” Uh, okay. As HP stumbles forward with its on-again off-again PSG spinoff, while boosting its commitment to hardware, one has to wonder: Who in the world will sign up for this program and why is HP introducing it?
This program seems weird on a few levels. It doesn’t exactly promote the “green IT” agenda that HP has been pushing here and there. Printing paper leads to paper waste, and more printer ink also means more plastic waste from spent cartridges. More so, in our growing consumerization of IT world, people are moving to reading magazines on tablets. What business sees this printing program as money well-spent? What’s more, does this really become more cost effective than buying the magazine off the shelf when it’s needed?
The HP Instant Ink program will be working with “select retail locations” and the Conde Nast digital delivery branch of this program will hit the general public sometime this fall for a trial. There’s no price tag announced, but I have to imagine the initial investment for such a program can’t be cheap. You need an HP web-enabled printer, a full stack of ink cart rages, and, oh yeah, lots of paper.
HP’s moves are analogous to converting MP3’s to cassette tape — I just don’t get it. If you do, let us know, and more importantly, let us know how you consume your media. Are you still buying magazines, reading magazines and blogs like this one on your computer or tablet, or have you given up on regular media altogether and gone exclusively with web content?