Letter from Guest Editors: Introduction to Special Issue: Audience, design, technology and business factors in new media innovation

Frohlich, David and Mills, John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4491-6796 (2016) Letter from Guest Editors: Introduction to Special Issue: Audience, design, technology and business factors in new media innovation. Journal of Print and Media Technology Research, 5 (2). pp. 89-188. ISSN 2223-8905

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The print and media industries have been going through significant and prolonged change in recent years due to the digitization of media content. As with many innovations, the earliest phase of change involved a kind of replication of existing services with new technological processes. Hence the replacement of analogue with digital printing machines simply
allowed print media to be produced more flexibly and efficiently. This resembled the motorized carriage design of early
cars, echoing the horse drawn carriages they were replacing. More recently, print itself is being threatened by screen-displayed content, which can not only reproduce the printed word and image, but go beyond this by packaging multiple
pages in a highly portable and convenient e-book form, providing instant access to multiple sources of web-based content,
and integrating other media such as sound, video and interactive games. Similar things could be said about the digital
broadcasting of radio and TV content, which is now ready for more radical integration with paper and the web.
In this special issue, we examine some of the factors involved in new media innovation within this context of media
digitization and convergence. In particular, we consider the future of print media in relation to screen-based media,
and some possibilities for combining them in different ways. The papers were invited from presentations at the
IARIGAI 2015 conference on Advances in Printing and Media Technology in Helsinki from the 6th–9th September last
year. Furthermore, four out of the five papers were submissions from members of the EU COST network FP1104 on
‘New possibilities for print and packaging: Combining print and digital’. The non-FP1104 paper was a related keynote paper on digitization and service business model innovation by Viljakainen, Toivonen & Seisto. The COST network is comprised of 140 academic and company members from 29 countries across Europe, and has been meeting for four years to share and generate new research on augmented print and packaging: http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/fps/FP1104.
It also held the Paper Evolutions exhibition of new product concepts in the area at the IARIGAI 2015 conference
(Seisto et al., 2015). The selected papers are a small window on the discussions of the network regarding the future of
paper, and the need to think about its innovation from an interdisciplinary point of view.

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