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French press outlets team up for early 2011 launch of digital kiosk

French press outlets team up for early 2011 launch of digital kiosk

Eight press outlets in France have teamed up to launch a digital kiosk (dubbed E-Presse Premium) equipped with their respective publications' content, by early 2011, Agence France-Presse reported this week. According to L'Expansion, the kiosk will allow users to access either individual articles or to obtain a subscription for extra features, while utilising a single account to surf a variety of titles like with Amazon's "one-click shopping" technique.

The newly established partnership intends to weaken the impact of companies like Google, Apple and Facebook in the digital era, Le Figaro suggested. Without this union, the titles don't have much say and have to adhere to conditions imposed by the tech giants. However, the deal will now permit them to set their own rules in the industry.

Image: CS Monitor

Newspapers Le Figaro, Libération, Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France, Les Echos and magazines L'Equipe L'Express, Le Point and Le Nouvel Observateur partnered with each other through a "groupement d'intérêt économique" (GIE, when businesses join on a competitive basis). According to ZD Net, the combined monthly unique visitors sum up to 16 million as the sites experience 785 million pageviews.

The GIE would be governed by Frédéric Filloux, the former editor of 20minutes, Le Journal Du Net notified. Meanwhile, the president's spot will be occupied by Xavier Spender (right), the Director General of and l'Equipe TV, ZD Net stated. According to Le Figaro, the GIE will have a capital of 100,000 euros shared amongst the publications as such: by 15.4 percent for each daily title and 7.6 percent for each magazine.

Spender: Image via Video Sénat

"Our three priorities are very clear. With this kiosk, each publisher should be able to set the price of its subscriptions or articles. The second priority is that each publisher should maintain a direct relationship with its customers. Lastly, the kiosk must provide a reasonable distribution margin, only between 10 to 15 percent. The publisher should retain the remaining 85 to 90 percent," declared Xavier Spender.

Spender explained that once the capabilities that the partnership provides begin to show, the companies planned to propose a distribution deal with Apple, Google and Facebook, provided that the corporations respected the guidelines set by the media conglomerate.

"By pooling the developments present on the distribution platform, the payment plan, and applications for the tablets and smartphones that we can reduce the costs for each of our members," said Frederic Filloux.

The biggest absentee from the GIE is the Le Monde group. Filloux (right) pointed out that because the partnership took place while Le Monde was in the middle of a takeover he understood that the outlet had other priorities, L'Expansion reported. The idea was to gather the regional press (which already have plans for an iPad portal) and form a team where everything was "interoperable," he added. Filloux hopes that the GIE will attain 85 percent of the page views in the "competitive universe" of the media.

Filloux: Image via Sigalon Video Soup

In addition, the media groups penned a deal with network provider Orange on Monday, whereby users access online articles through the "Read & Go" feature (which has material from print titles, comic books and books), Le Journal Du Net informed. Orange's search engine will be embedded within the media websites and users can look at free content from the titles on the Orange website.

See also:

French regionals launch iPad kiosk, nationals & magazines may follow


Alisa Zykova


2010-12-01 18:06

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