New project finds digital future for news - on paper

A group of German entrepreneurs have come up with a new digital solution for the future of news – but it is on paper rather than online.

They are using the latest short-run digital printer developed by Oce to produce a personalized newspaper printed overnight and delivered to readers on a daily basis.

Each issue of the paper includes selections of content from a variety of sources tailored to each reader. And it can even print out new content from the readers’ own social networking sites and from blogs.

Niiu is based in Berlin and is believed to be the first newspaper of its kind in the world.

It uses a new Oce digital printer which is capable of producing a newspaper of identical quality to that produced using conventional mass-printing plate technology and can print around 2,000 36-page colour tabloid newspapers an hour.

According to Oce: “This newspaper industry revolution has significant benefits for both reader and publisher. Readers select the news they want to read at no cost and publishers can target commercial advertising based on reader choice.

“This initiative, which has the potential to change the way information is accessed and absorbed, is also an initiative aimed at getting more young people to read newspapers.”

The company behind Niiu, InterTi, cooperates with leading German titles like Bild, Handelsblatt and Tagesspiegel and with international titles like The New York Times, Washington Times and Komsomolskaya Pravda (Russia) to buy syndicated content.

Co-founder of niiu Wanja Oberhof said: ‘Even young people prefer to read on paper. With the ‘niiu’ concept we bridge the gap between web and print. ‘niiu’ provides considerable benefits for publishers and advertisers.

“Publishers can attract new young readers by repurposing content, and advertisers draw advantages from highly selected and target group-specific advertising. While Germany’s capital Berlin is the first market for ‘niiu’, it is planned to expand the concept to other metropolises such as Hamburg or Munich.”

The backers of niiu are planning to sell it for Euro 1.80 and plan to reach a target circulation of 5,000 within the first six months.

The first copies are due to be delivered on 16 November and it will come out five days a week (Monday to Friday).

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