World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

What newspapers can learn from Kodak's digital transformation

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

What newspapers can learn from Kodak's digital transformation

At the World Newspaper Congress session on technology, Edwards says Kodak invented the digital camera and sat on the invention for 10 years. At the time, it had a $US10 billion consumer film division that had a 60-percent margin.
"If you look at that business today, it's gone from $10 billion to $100 million," says Edwards.
Kodak remains a $7 billion company, "but had to completely change our products and reinvent ourselves – digital cameras, digital scanners and printers, service business. We're a completely different company than what we were."
Will newsprint go the same way? "I would suggest it needs to completely reinvent itself to survive," Edwards says. But that doesn't mean print will disappear, just change.
"We live in a hybrid world; these technologies will co-exist," he says. "The key question is, I think, what will digital technologies allow us to do that we couldn't do before?"
For the newspaper industry, it's important not to view print and digital as entirely different worlds, Edwards says. In fact, print can be digital.
Digital printing technology allows publishes to target, segment and personalize content. It will allow them to move advertising from mass market to personal promotion. "And that’s what the advertisers are looking for. It pays the bills and it looks like newspapers are uniquely positioned to drive value to advertisers," Edwards says.
"The technology exists today," he says. "During the transition, you can vary a portion of your newsprint by applying inkjet heads to a web offset press; ultimately you can vary 100 percent of the content on every page, and the technology exists today to do that. I'm very surprised I haven't heard anyone talk about it during the last two days [of the conference]." 

Wnc technology douglas_j_edwards
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Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2011-10-14 18:40

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The 71st World News Media Congress, the 26th World Editors Forum and the 3rd Women in News Summit took place from 1 - 3 June 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In this blog, WAN-IFRA provides previews, interviews, summaries of the presentations and other useful information about the Congress.

Participants were also very active on Twitter throughout the event under the hashtag #wnmc19.

In 2011 the newspaper world gathered in Vienna, Austria for IFRA Expo 2011, 63rd World Newspaper Congress and 18th World Editors Forum.

This is the event's live blog.

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