Don’t charge for the magazine charge for the ink!

“Our work with Condé Nast creates a new channel for customers to access the content they want from some of their favorite publications,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Web Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “And, when coupled with our scheduled delivery service, allows customers to get the content they want, whenever they want it.”

Cool. What’s the story then HP? Digital paper? A new flexible tablet? A competitor to Newstand? No, that would be silly woudnt it? No. They have something a litle dafter to offer.

The big idea is not to charge people for the magazine content but charge them for the ink!

Meranda Watling over at 10,000 words highlighted HP’s plans for  a new subscription service that will deliver in cartridges to you every month, bundled in with that will be a reason to use the ink  – a subscription to magazines you can print out.

“This project is one of the many ways Condé Nast is using emerging technology to engage consumers,” said Julie Michalowski, senior vice president, Consumer Business Development, Condé Nast. “With this new HP pilot program, consumers will be able to have their favorite Condé Nast content at their fingertips.”

Yes, their ink-stained fingertips.

You could interprit this as a media organisation trying new things (and kudos to that) but, to me,  this is more like a technology company buying in to the worst of media models. This is HP turning in to one of those companies that sells you stuff on the back pages of magazines or those multi-part ‘build a model of the titanic’ things;  ‘Just 200 easy payments and you could have this beutiful copy of last Decembers vougue !’

In some ways this is no skin of Conde Nasts nose. If they already have digital editions, bundling them with, well, anything, is just an easy option. But for HP this sounds depsperate.

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