Magazine article Editor & Publisher

High-Def Newsracks: Selling Print with Video

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

High-Def Newsracks: Selling Print with Video

Article excerpt

It's been a quarter-century since USA Today first appeared in vending boxes that vaguely resembled a television set. Since then, TVs have changed -- and so have newsracks, which can now sport real video. Appearing on a high- definition flat screen, an eye-catching live news feed from a newspaper's Web site can promote single-copy sales and even take online subscriptions.

About 5 years ago, The New York Times ran a story about a local company that developed, among other things, video movie posters for theaters. Today, the same technology is helping sell the Times in major cities, where outlets "are thrilled with it," says Brian Sheehan, the Times' retail, educational, and corporate sales vice president. "It's a sporty unit -- not your old metal rack."

The Timestation Digital Newsrack provides the day's news highlights in text and images, with updates, breaking news, and advertising reaching readers/viewers faster than print or Web-based media, according to its developer, Thinking Pictures -- a managed service provider that owns, operates and maintains a network of displays and will develop interactive digital display systems for various venues and events. Secure broadband wireless connectivity and Smartcard readers can allow customers to select content, receive downloads, and perform transactions using a card, radio-frequency ID, or cell phone.

The challenge was finding a way to easily show a paper's range of stories when, unlike magazines, customers generally are not permitted to peruse newspapers, says Thinking Pictures President and co-founder Stephan Fitch. …

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