New magazine vending machine product adds to vending machine push
John Johnston, sales manager of Magazine Vending, says the company will offer its products to both metropolitan and regional locations, including train stations, airports, hospitals and TAFE colleges.
"Australia is very fast-paced and we've become a massive consumer of mobiles, and buying products from mobile places. We love the new things and we think this product caters to that."
"If you look overseas, the Germans and the English all use things in vending machines, and we don't necessarily have that here yet. But we think that is changing, and we think the market is ready for this now."
The company will open its first 48 machines in Sydney and Melbourne on March 30, and will offer a range of ACP publications including FHM, Ralph, Zoo, Cleo, Woman's Day, Cosmopolitan, Dolly, Woman's Weekly and Top Gear.
Johnston says the magazine vending machine concept has an edge over traditional food and beverages seen in machines, because the appearance of the product range will change constantly.
"The beauty of the magazine vending machine is that it's a brand new machine every single week. It changes up, and then you have monthly titles that change as well."
"Additionally it's a risk-free concept because there is an agreement by which any magazine that doesn't sell gets sent back to the publishing company. There is no risk factor here and that is why we have had a substantial number of enquiries."
Ian O'Rourke, co-founder of DVD vending machine company Oovie, which was called Instant DVD before it was acquired by Hoyts last year, says the concept of a magazine vending machine makes sense in the context of the industry.
"Vending or kiosk businesses are certainly on the rise, and have a lot of credibility. Virgin Blue are using this a lot with their check-in kiosks, the airlines do it, and even McDonald's is doing a pilot test of this sort of technology. It's evolved to be a viable option."
The vending machine concept is particularly popular in airports internationally, but not so much in Australia. Machines sell products ranging from socks to consumer electronics, and the DVD rental machine market has found a good market particularly in the US.
However, demand for vending machine-based products is rising locally. O'Rourke points to his own company's success as evidence for the industry's growth, saying Oovie's machine base has grown to 130, with another 50 opening in the next 10 days.
"Conceptually the magazine idea seems reasonable as long as there is always new product in there to keep it all fresh. You can't have stale product, and it makes sense to put them in places like TAFE colleges where it probably wouldn't warrant a full newsstand."