July 16, 2005

Digital Media Kiosks Gaining Acceptance

Photo Industry Reporter picks up on and writes on McDonalds music kiosks by DTM then goes into photo kiosks. Its a nice article.

Noted: KioskCom.com Website

n Munich, Germany, a large McDonalds outlet frequented by tourists has been testing multifunctional kiosks24 E2Go terminals from U.S. manufacturer Digital Transaction Machines (DTM). These kiosks allow customers to download ring tones for their mobile telephones, download music onto a CD, download images from memory cards onto a CD, or make 4x6-inch prints on an Olmec dye-sub printer.

An article in the current issue of International Contact provides a detailed description of the operation of these kiosks. Upon completing an order, users print out a payment ticket with an order number, which is taken to a "cash machine" that accepts cash, credit cards or the euro card. Once payment is completed, the CDs are burned and pictures printed.

The system in Munich was installed by Contnet AG, a local service company that remotely monitors, diagnoses and changes software for the kiosks via the Internet and a DSL connection. The terminals are subject to vandalism, such as "kids feeding the card slots with slices of pickle or ketchup," according to Thomas Kienbauer, a DTM representative in Germany. However, he feels that this, along with software glitches, is being solved. "In the first three months of operation we had some 18,000 downloads of current music titles without spending a single euro on advertising," he said. Based on the initial success of this test, DTM is planning to expand its placement of kiosks in other non-traditional locations.

What does this mean to Photo Industry Reporter readers? As we talk to people in the industry we are amazed how many dont consider these non-traditional installations to be "serious" competition. For the McDonalds test in Munich, the primary revenue source is downloading songs. But, we are sure that there are some photo prints and CDs being made, and these are prints and CDs that wont be made at a traditional outlet. So, in addition to being profitable, these kiosks are taking business away from photo retailers. PIR readers need to consider how they can gain access to these non-traditional venues before non-industry companies gain a strong foothold and start chipping away at "our" print/CD business revenues.

Considerations When Buying A Photo-Imaging Kiosk

Opening his presentation, "Practical Strategies for Maximizing Your Kiosk Investment," George Briggs, CEO of Pixel Magic Imaging, said that the real cost of a 4x6-inch print at home is 29, although consumers often experience "sticker shock" when buying a replacement inkjet cartridge and photo-quality paper. The "perceived" quality is good, but is it the best possible? And, while home printers are slow, they are getting faster and certainly easier.

Should consumers print at retail, the everyday retail price for digital prints has settled at around the same price as prints from film, and the everyday self-service prices are in the 2939 range. Consumers know they will get photo quality at retail, and it is fast and easy to make prints.

Briggs showed a slide with kiosks from eight different manufacturers. They all have touch screens and media drives, but they differ in many other aspects. He addressed these from the viewpoint of what retailers should consider.

Rest of the Story

Posted by keefner at July 16, 2005 02:40 AM