Despite the growth of digital platforms, sometimes we still just want to hold a tangible print product in our hands. We want to make handwritten notes on that 30-page report our boss just sent us. We want to save one of our favorite magazine covers for posterity. We want to put all of our photos, currently housed on Facebook, into a physical album. This is where Peecho, a cloud printing service based in The Netherlands, comes in. Peecho is a service that allows anyone – companies, publishers, individuals – to sell professional print products from their website. The short clip below provides a rundown of how exactly the service works:
I spoke with Peecho’s Gloria Quintanilla to learn more about cloud printing and its implications for publishing.
What exactly is cloud printing? I’ll be honest. I’m still a little confused.
Yes, it’s not that easy to grasp. Essentially, cloud printing is a technology that helps you connect printers to the internet. There are two kinds. The first is consumer-based cloud printing. An example of this is Google’s cloud print solution, where you can print documents from your mobile device or tablet to your cloud-enabled printer in your office.
Then, you have more professional-based cloud print services, which is what Peecho does. Professional cloud printing allows publishers, companies and authors to access a network of printing facilities through the cloud. It’s using the internet to print your digital publication in any place throughout the world.
Can you walk me through an example?
Right now, we’re working with Deloitte. They have a yearly report that they put out about the global economy. Instead of mass printing the publication and offering it to their customers, Deloitte is now using our cloud print button. So they upload the report, install our button, and then customers can order the publication on demand. Then, we connect with print facilities closest to the end recipient and deliver the publication. So, instead of producing mass quantities of publications that end up in warehouses or in the garbage, you print on demand.
This all sounds very environmentally friendly.
Cloud printing is great is because it allows us to tackle the thorny issue of print publications using and wasting paper. When you do cloud printing, you print only on demand and only when necessary. You enable your users to request a print product, so there is no waste. Then, we cut down transportation costs and negative environmental effects by connecting with facilities closest to the user. We’re not delieving a product to Russia that was printed in The Netherlands. We’d print in Russia and deliver in Russia.
How might a magazine publisher use Peecho?
Right now, we’re working with the digital publishing platform Issuu. On Issuu, small publishers can use Peecho to print their own publications. Consumers can’t yet print a publication using Issuu, but that’s the next step.
Smaller publishers are also installing the Peecho cloud print button on their own websites and actually making money off of their print product. Before, smaller publishers couldn’t profitably print their publication because you need to print a certain volume to get your costs down. But now they can print on demand using cloud printing.
For larger publishers like The Economist who already have the infrastructure to print large quantities of their own publications, you might instead offer customers a way to print a personalized collection of their favorite Economist articles, or you could offer them a way to print their favorite Economist covers.
It’s really all about leveraging this digital data to produce a nice, high-quality print product that is also personalized and exactly fits a user’s own needs.
Peecho’s cloud print button is on the lower-right side.
What’s consumer demand for a print product?
Demand really depends on the publishers and the quality of their publication. One project that was really successful here in The Netherlands was when we collaborated with Efteling, the oldest amusement park in the country. Efteling has a fairy-tale theme, so for their 60th anniversary, they released a special app where visitors could log onto the app and create a personalized fairy tale book. You could recreate your experience visiting the park as a kid. Then, you could use our service to print that version and have a tangible keepsake. That was really successful; we had over 10,000 orders in the first two weeks. In this case, it was an extremely personalized print product that was also very attractive to children and their parents.
Where do you see publishing and printing heading in the future?
The future for publishing is digital. Everybody is starting to realize that paper is not always the most efficient medium for publishing – especially for daily publications and read-once publications. In that regard, the future is digital. At the same time, as opposed to being a primary source of communication, print is going to become more of a niche product. Print is no longer about leaflets or reading the news, it’s about personalization and high-quality products that enhance digital.