Wanja S. Oberhof.
Niiu Publisher Wanja S. Oberhof.

VIENNA, Austria - A German company this month is rolling out an individualized newspaper aimed at college readers.

Niiu is a joint venture of Berlin-based InterTi GmbH and printer Reprotechnik Gruppe, said Wanja S. Oberhof, InterTI's co-founder and publisher of niiu.

The paper, which plans to make its debut Nov. 16, contains stories that are handpicked by readers who select content from a wide variety of print and electronic sources. It will be printed on Reprotechnik's Océ JetStream 2200 digital press.

InterTi has made arrangements to pay content licensing fees for the stories, which are laid out, printed and delivered to readers' mailboxes by 6 a.m. the following day. The 24-page paper will be printed six days a week.

Oberhof said he expects to ramp up production to as many as 5,000 copies per day by spring 2010. It will be sold to students for 1.20 euro (about $1.75) and to non-students for 1.80 euro ($2.68). "We believe in print and believe it will survive for at least another 20 years," Oberhof said.

Océ representatives said that single-copy production costs should average around 1 euro ($1.48), depending upon paper stock and other factors.

Oberhof said young readers prefer a printed product if the alternative is being forced to read any more than three pages of text online. "With niiu, young readers will be able to bridge the Internet and print gap with one tailored newspaper," he said. Advertisers, he added, will also benefit by using the paper to reach a very targeted niche group of consumers.

Web-based selection

Niiu relies on software from Switzerland-based software developer Previon AG to provide the conduit that allows consumers to select the content they want to see.

Toni Kaufmann, Previon's chief technology officer, said consumers need only use a browser to access a Web site containing links to the content they would like to see in their printed editions.

"We pull two kinds of content, one from the printed version and some selections from Internet-based content, and merge them into one individualized newspaper for the reader," he said. Advertisers, meantime, can use self-service software to book their ads online.

Niiu follows a tact similar to PersonalNews, which Germany-based Syntops was to have launched last month. PersonalNews allows readers to create their own newspapers by selecting specific sections from newspapers worldwide. The ensuing papers are then delivered to subscribers either as PDFs or printed editions.

PersonalNews charges readers 25 euros ($37) for 25 issues, and subscribers can select from among 600 different newspaper sections (see News & Tech's News on Demand, July 2009). _