Hi-Media Looking To Sell Its Micropayments Business


French content, advertising and payments firm Hi-Media says: “Given the tremendous opportunities offered by the e-payment market dynamism, (the company) has asked the investment bank NIBC Bank to study different possible industrial and financial partnerships with respect to its leading micropayment platform Allopass and its e-wallet Hipay.”

The company did not name any suitors or potential partners or say whether it had received any offers. One theory: French newspapers, who have partnered to create a joint paid kiosk initiative across multiple platforms.

Hi-Media commented in November: “After the video games and professional information universes, (paid content opportunities) tend to develop themselves into the media industry.”

With so much recent interest in paying for content and services, Hi-Media seems to be putting its technology in the shop window.

Allopass is a system for buying digital content, works primarily by customers requesting a purchase code via SMS and is used by French operators including the Leboncoin.fr classifieds site. Hipay is a wallet in which customers can deposit money from credit cards.

Hi-Media operates as a special-interest content publisher, with sites including jeuxvideo.com, blogorama.fr, toutlecine.com and actustar.com; operates the Fotolog photo sharing site; sells adverts on its own site network and for third-party sites; and has lately been building out a third leg of the group…

Payments is the smallest but now fastest-growing part of Hi-Media’s business – Q3 income from that division grew 40 percent over a year to €21.7 million this way.


Greg Golebiewski

Right Alexia, but for Robert Andrews to admit that paid content can be a major source of revenues is like admitting that his coverage has been grossly biased. H’s been reporting vigilantly on every little misstep or less successful use of direct payments in the online publishing business and ignoring any indication that people might want to and in fact do pay for content — only the right one, of course. Not every piece of gossip and countless reprints can be monetized.


Payments is not the smallest part of Hi-Media. Actually if you see their last reports you will see that Hi-Media payments represents more than 50% of their revenues. Also it is not clear from their release that they are looking to sell their business. It looks more that they are trying to find a way to take advantage from this emerging business.

Greg Golebiewski

“Payments is the smallest but now fastest-growing part of Hi-Media’s business – Q3 income from that division grew 40 percent over a year to €21.7 million this way.”

No? Really? Because for years now you’ve been saying that people hate to pay for content, that micropayments are all doomed, paywalls kill publisher, etc.

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