Is there any service in your life that you wouldn’t mind getting for free if it were ad-supported? Even as we work in “paperless” offices, some things need to exist as hard copies. For college students, there are enough items in need of printing out that a student-run startup now offers free printing…in exchange for ads plastered on each page.
At first glance, this seems like a terrible idea, but that’s because we aren’t thinking like college students. The company, Freenter (get it? Free printer) is based on a similar company that’s currently thriving in South Korea, where the founders are from. They launched the service at their school, the University of Chicago, and are now expanding it to other campuses.
Students who are part of the program can get up to 100 color pages printed for free each month. Color, that’s key, because it means that the ads print out in full color too.
Of course, the company isn’t really about providing free printing to students: it’s about serving up fresh, unmolded new consumers to companies like Citibank and (of course) Papa John’s.
Korean Startup Turns Free Printing Into a Moneymaker [Wall Street Journal]