reKiosk Digitally Recreates The Independent Bookstore and Record Store Experience

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While ebooks and digital music are becoming the dominant way of consuming books and songs, only a few digital retailers have become important players in this space. reKiosk is trying to bring to the web the buying experience that was lost along the way thanks to a service that promotes independent artist and provides advice in the style of independent booksellers and record store owners.

Aziz Isham, founder and CEO of reKiosk, has already worked in digital publishing. But he found out that it was nearly impossible to promote independent artists on big platforms while retaining a profit. “With reKiosk, we are the only site built from the ground-up to encourage the sale and promotion of independent digital media,” he said.

Another solution for the artists is to sell their work on their own website. In that case, they face another problem, a lack of visibility. That’s why reWork had to find a solution to bring independent works together on the same platform while finding a way to bring out the best work without relying on the name of a major book publisher.

But reKiosk is not another eMusic, the music platform that only sold independent music until 2010. Another feature makes it stand apart. “The solution is a network of socially connected digital kiosks that remunerate each kiosk curator about 25% for every sale they make, regardless of whose original work it is,” said Isham.

In other words, every user can build a collection of books and albums from independent artists. Others can choose to trust book recommandations of a popular kiosk curator or simply browse the store and see which album was the most reKiosked. The site handles the transaction and the curator can keep up to 25% of the sale.

reKiosk just opened and is bootstrapped, with seed funding provided by Susan Lyne (Chairman of Gilt Groupe) and Benji Rogers (CEO of PledgeMusic).

It hopes to attract independent artists that seek more visibility and early adopters that are willing to curate music and books at a profit. As for the users, according to Isham, “there is something else at work, a nostalgia for the corner bookstore and the independent record shops I used to frequent every Tuesday, before they all closed down.”