4 Newspaper Delivery Innovations to Smash Online Censorship

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newspaper delivery with drones

Can innovations to newspaper delivery help the industry from total collapse and help thwart online censorship and digital surveillance? With the newspaper industry in steep decline it’s time to apply some serious innovation to the business. Some would say it’s too late and too risky to invest in newspapers.

But let’s not count newspapers down and out yet especially with all the censorship we’re seeing by the big tech platforms. Newspaper will play a big role in the free flow of trusted information in the future.

Distribution seems like the most ripe aspect of the newspaper business for disruption. It’s been traditional the most costly expense after staffing.

To reduce the cost to distribute the newspaper it would seem that having a good product available at a lower price would be effective for gaining a larger share of the market.  

Newspaper Delivery By Drones

Amazon is working on drone technology to deliver packages and I could see them experiment with newspaper delivery as well since they own the Washington Post.

Newspapers seem like if they are packaged well, their light weight flexible size could be effectively carried by the dozens. Obviously drones would not work in high rise  apartment and condo buildings. They might be effective of beating traffic and making bulk drops.

Peer to Peer Newspaper Delivery

Like Uber entering the delivery game could newspaper distribution be enhanced with a peer to peer network where users accept and take responsibility for a given area?

A obvious question is the reliability of such a model. This may not take the form of drivers in cars either. If a drone makes a bulk drop at a building you need a person like a door man to pick it up and deliver it inside the building. Or have a person on foot make the deliveries on foot from the bulk drop.

newspaper delivery with uber

The benefits of a bulk drop to human carrier is that the person doing the walking route wouldn’t need a car, insurance or to pay for gas and parking tickets. If the app would connect to the customer where they could rate the timeliness and consistency of the delivery that could help provide quality delivery.

How would the delivery person get paid? The newspaper could offer a tiered rate per delivery for on time delivery and a lower rate or deduction for late or missed deliveries. The incentive therefor would be place on the courier to deliver on time.

Add-on

How about adding a newspaper to your food order? A partnership between publishers and food delivery could make this possible. Unplug during you lunch break by ordering a newspaper.

There could also be a tip function built into the app which would let the customer tip the delivery person as a regular weekly, monthly intervals and on special holiday occasions like for Christmas, New Years etc. The app could send periodic notifications reminders for tips or other rewards like ‘buy me a coffee’ for a job well done. The idea is to reward and incentivize quality delivery. Make it fun a rewarding for young students to get a taste of entrepreneurship.

If a customer reports a missing newspaper the app could send out a notice to nearby carriers. The first one to accept the job would be assigned to that delivery and would be rewarded according to the amount for a rush or missed delivery. This of course would need to be backed up by a cross reference within the system weather the newspaper had been delivered originally and was stolen to ensure the customer couldn’t make a claim that the newspaper wasn’t delivered when in fact it was but somehow got removed.

This might happen often when another occupant of the address retrieved the newspaper and failed to notify the other party who is now looking for it. The customer would have the exact time stamp record in the app.

Speed of Newspaper Delivery

I don’t need my newspaper one or two hours earlier than I currently receive it because it sits outside until I’m ready to sit down for breakfast. Increasing the speed doesn’t seem that important.

Service for missed delivery If there’s a problem but speed would be important to some readers if they would like to read the newspaper that day. I’ve seen newspapers make up for the missed issue by sending a replacement the following day together with the current issue.

Referral Program

The app could incentivize the customer using a referral code. They would send the code to their friend telling them to subscribe. The friend would receive a special offer and the referrer would gain points or dollars to use towards their subscription or other merchandise in our online shop.

Finding innovations starts with seeing how, dreaming big and working hard. The newspaper industry has endured a long time and now in the midst of censorship, invasive digital tracking and privacy infringements it seems like the perfect solution to cut away from the digital surveillance. Let’s hope strategic minded people can find new ways to make the newspaper more affordable, accessible and relevant to people.

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