[3 questions à] Michael Philippe, LeKiosk.com: “Free has never been a lasting solution”

by bold-lichterman

LeKiosk is in the news with 1 million downloads, and 100,000 active users. Update on the French digital kiosk activity which raised 5.6M € last November.

Micheal Philippe is the co-founder of Kiosk.com, he details to date the activity of the digital kiosk launched 6 years ago, available today under Windows 8, and considered “the most profitable” application by Apple.

[FW] What justifies your claimed position as a “leader in digital kiosks”?

Michael Philippe: Since our launch on iPad in January 2011, the application lekiosk.com has been downloaded over a million times. Additionally, Apple released its “Profitable” app ranking last December, where the app ranked first. It achieved the most turnover on iPad in 2012, all applications combined. No other competing application was included in this ranking. Finally, the first market estimates show that lekiosk.com represents on average 30% of the digital circulation of magazine press groups, ahead of its competitors.

[FW] How do you work with press editors to convince them to invest in the digital field?

Michael Philippe: The objective is to become the European leader in this market. To give ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions, we carried out a third fundraising of 5.6 million euros from CM-CIC and the FSN PME CDC-Entreprises at the end of last year. We have two main areas of investment that have convinced all the publishers on the platform to collaborate with us:

1. Marketing: we invest heavily in marketing to find new readers for our publishing partners. Experts in mobile acquisition, we also invest in the brand lekiosk.com, so as not to be perceived as a simple utility. As evidenced by our very new summer campaign with Laurent Baffie.

2. Innovation: at the heart of our strategy, we have been working for several months on new features that will disrupt certain uses and make the market evolve towards more interactivity. The concept of a digital kiosk will soon be outdated and lekiosk.com a very powerful medium on mobile (tablets and smartphones) is going to come more and more.

[FW] What is the future of subscription as a business model?

Michael Philippe: Lekiosk.com has always believed in the package model (10 magazines for € 9.99 / month) for the simple reason that it is the only one to meet user expectations. These are simple: consume what you want when you want for a more advantageous price and without commitment, like models like Deezer or Spotify in music.

Customers are not naive, when we remove printing and unsold costs, they necessarily expect price reductions. The idea is not to destroy the perceived value of magazines, it is essential and free has never been a lasting solution. The idea is simply to enhance the value of magazines, their audience (distribution being certified by the OJD), to retain users over time, as part of a flexible and commercially attractive package. Moreover, even market players who initially criticized these offers end up doing it too. Finally, thanks to a study carried out on our users (source: QualiQuanti study), we notice that nearly 53% of our subscribers say they consume the press more than before.