Who Needs Newsstands?


Via Google English of the original German:

Sci-Fi to the Book Fair: Smart posters send wirelessly to your mobile phone

In the context of the book fair interactive posters will be tested: the illustrated advertising space on the bestsellers list in the mirror can download an extract of the passers-by Bluetooth mobile phone – for two thirds of all mobile phones that will work to date. Behind the pilot project are the Journal of Book Report and outdoor advertising specialist Ströer. The so-called City Light posters are mainly well-attended mass transit stations.

Back in the 1990s, Palm did something like this in New York City. I could point my PDA at an advertisement and have something — demo software or a brochure — beamed over via infrared.

I’ve also seen ads that used Bluetooth for phones too.

This experiment is brilliant.

Think about this: Would you rather point your device (phone, minitablet, reader) at a poster and have instant gratification or deal with a crowded newsstand and having to wade through shelves?

Bookstores aren’t the only endangered species.

Oh, I can see the objections out there: But we can just browse the Internet! This is about getting your attention. That’s what advertising is for. There will always be advertising.

3 Responses to Who Needs Newsstands?

  1. Constable Odo says:

    Who needs newsstands? The people that are employed to work at those newsstands or don’t you understand that simple fact. If you mean to say that people could still be well served by having electronic publications you may be right. But meanwhile when you take away paper publications you are removing a lot of middlemen from the point the rolls of paper is loaded onto the presses down to the delivery to the newsstands. Yeah, I know, who cares about those few workers in the face of progress.

    Some people actually enjoy going through stacks of papers and magazines, touching the paper and smelling the ink. Not me, though. If I can have everything I want to read delivered right to my Apple tablet without even getting out of bed, then more power to me and screw the rest of the world. I’m a selfish bastard, aren’t I.

    • mikecane says:

      I don’t know about where you live, but in NYC most of the places that sell newspapers and magazines are run by immigrants. These are not stupid or unresourceful people. Unlike my fellow Americans, they will be quick to adapt to such a change.

      Are you crying about the Post Office losing money versus email? I didn’t think so.

  2. phred says:

    I think both your article, and Amy Rosenthal’s article are off base. Single copy sales is a $4billion business. At some point, it may very well go away. For me, someone who works in it, there are two things that frustrate me.
    1) The fact that we do such a shitty job merchandising our product – in my opinion, why sales are off more than changing reader habits or the economy
    2) People who read a few articles about our business and then decide they are experts.

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