HP and Condé Nast are partnering in an on-demand, digital-to-print pilot program that will allow readers to, via a desktop printer widget, download selected content and print it from home.
At this point, says a Condé Nast spokesperson, the publisher is determining the kinds of content that would be appropriate for this delivery mechanism. Recipes from Epicurious, for example, might make sense, but the publisher is still trying to figure out how content from, say, Glamour might work in this setting.
In announcing the program, HP says Allure, Details, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, Self and Wired will participate in the pilot.
HP is trying to position itself as a way for content publishers to reach end users. With this digital-to-print effort, readers will see a downloadable widget on a brand’s website.
The widget allows readers to schedule when they want their content printed.
The widget works with any Web-enabled printer, not just HP brands—a point that content publishers made clear with HP in order to open up the program to a wider segment of customers.
According to Annette Friskopp, HP’s head of IWS strategic account management, there are two other paths of discovery to the content. HP’s ePrintCenter has an apps page that showcases the various print-on-demand content options; and the HP printer itself—content brands will display on the printer’s panel.
It may seem like a strange nook for Condé Nast to be exploring, but these days who knows what might stick with consumers. Nevertheless, Friskopp notes that HP customer research says people still like printing out content for reference, sharing and, she says, "once you’ve printed it you can find it again." Take that, digital information overload.
And with all this home printing HP and Condé Nast hope people will be doing, HP is introducing its Instant Ink program, a subscription-based home delivery service for ink cartridges.
Condé Nast will initially roll out with an ad-based revenue model, but that might change if the project catches on. "Again, this is a pilot program that’s still in an infancy stage," says the spokesperson. "There are multiple ways that this could be monetized and we will look into all of them."