Presenting viable commercial production answers to key challenges facing the newspaper industry was the aim of a Kodak customer event staged on December 4 at Axel Springer AG’s Hamburg-Ahrensburg offset printing plant.
Customers from across nine countries and journalists representing eight different countries attended the day designed to demonstrate how the industry can make newspapers more dynamic and improve revenue with variable data for more targeted content and advertising. They saw for themselves how the recently installed KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting System on a MANROLAND COLORMAN Newspaper Web Offset Press can deliver these creative solutions. The combined technology of static offset-print with high-quality digital inkjet printing runs at full production speed of up to up to 914 m / min (15 meters per second).
Olivier Claude, Kodak's General Manager for Print & Vice President Commercial Business EAMER comments: “The volume of variable data print produced by Axel Springer is inspiring and it was an honor to present the possibilities to such a key audience. It was the first newspaper to implement hybrid printing at this speed on the S30 and the versatility and quality possible opens up exciting opportunities - in particular ways to create a higher profitability, improve reader retention and improve long-term relationships with publishers.”
Welcome to added value print
In welcoming the visitors Thomas Drensek, Plant Manager at Axel Springer’s Hamburg-Ahrensburg explained how newspapers can now differentiate themselves by driving relevant and variable content thanks to the ability of the PROSPER S30 Imprinting Systems. He added that, when perforated and glued with FERAG MemoStick® and memo cards, and even combined with transparent paper, newspapers can add significant value. Then there is the ability to insert targeted adverts, news that fits the specific reader’s interests, personalized text, QR codes and Augmented Reality - all aiding customer retention. Thanks to the KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting Systems, Axel Springer can also print new formats, on coated paper and offer half covers and flying pages.
Embracing change to capture success
Axel Springer’s investment decision was made against a backdrop of change in the industry that was then outlined by Prof. Karl Malik, Media Consultant, PreMedia Newsletter. Encouragingly he stated that the industry’s upheaval is over and that print continues to have a future in the communication of brands as part of a mix that also includes mobile and other digital distribution possibilities. He added there are now big opportunities for media companies to keep in close contact with customers and break new ground. To do that they must develop new business areas, maintain old ones and reinvent themselves again and bring new target-group relevant products to the market. Manufacturers must portray a new world in their products, allow changes and exhaust the potential for rationalization, study the transition from old world to new world and then present and implement the findings. He concluded saying today print forms the financial backbone for all media activities and the media brand is supported by print and online adding: “Develop print and online further – it's worth it!”
Smooth implementation reaps rewards
Stephan Wellnitz, Axel Springer's Sales Manager and Master Printer Sven Türy detailed the project’s implementation process and developmental stages and listed the successful projects so far executed. They are Bild’s Cash Million with a total circulation of 750,000 imprinted copies, Hamburger Abendblatt lottery with a total circulation of 225,000 imprinted copies and Welt Kompakt lottery with a total circulation of 660,000 imprinted copies.
Further details of Bild’s Cash Million were presented by Tobias Kunn. He expanded on how Germany’s leading newspaper, with more than 12 million readers, has historically used competitions to improve circulation, develop stronger relationships with readers and generate additional income via reader response calls. In 2011 there were 350 different competitions resulting in 20,000 winners. But there were inherent weaknesses with tickets issued via outlets, the high cost of printing and distribution of the tickets and lack of control over the one paper one ticket system.
Cash Million, a six-week bingo game with regional variations across Hamburg, was devised and implemented using the KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting Systems. Subsequently Bild enjoyed a clearly linked combination of games participation and newspaper purchase and advertisers were able to develop individual advertising. The results were accurate digital imprints, well-understood gaming rules and a positive impact on circulation leading to investment in a further three KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting Systems as well as implementation of a new 450,000 circulation competition.
Getting creative with applications
Anton Hamm, Vice President Service and Printcom for manroland web systems GmbH, outlined the technical integration of the PROSPER Imprinting Systems and reviewed the applications such as personalisation of addresses, numbered coupons, targeted group related contents as well as local news, retail vouchers, district information and bar codes. He stated the advantages of a one-stop shop created through integration of the highly automated solution in every web press, included eliminating the need for additional resources, minimized waste and efficient change-over times.
Kodak’s Marketing Program Manager Inkjet Printing Solutions Marie-Luce Delaune, and IPS Sales Support Manager Rainer Küssel, gave an overview of how the project was completed and detailed results that included fewer manufacturing steps, reduced labor and waste, elimination of handling, staging and storage, improved cycle time to help protect investments and growth in business
The event concluded with a factory tour and demonstration of the KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting System in operation on the MANROLAND COLORMAN Web Press.