Starwood Goes Green…And Saves The Magazine Industry?

Maybe not, but here’s a brilliant idea: Starwood Hotels has teamed up with digital publisher Zinio to offer guests free downloads of their favorite magazines.

Zinio’s ‘digital newsstand’ can be accessed on guests’ laptops in their rooms, or via a kiosk in the lobby. The digital versions can be read online or off and are identical to the printed versions…so, probably a PITA for users, but it saves a whole bunch of paper, and Starwood can offer guests magazines they actually want to read instead of a generic selection.

One hopes that the money Starwood’s paying Zinio—and thus the magazine publishers—is enough to offset the loss the publishers are taking if the hotel chain’s buying that many fewer paper copies.

Personally, we’d rather read a magazine on the Web that’s optimized for the Web, and carry around a paper copy for train rides and such. But Starwood’s hotels are on the more luxurious side, and maybe their travelers are more likely to have tablet PCs or a Kindle or something that makes reading “e-paper” less effing annoying.
(h/t Springwise)