French Publisher Hachette Acquires Majority Stake In Brain Training App Peak


VANVES, France — French publishing house Hachette Livre has acquired a majority stake in brain training app Peak, in a bid to boost its mobile strategy.

Created by British mobile app company Brainbow, Peak, a subscription-based service designed to entertain while helping users exercise their cognitive skills, has been downloaded over 15 million times since its launch in 2014. Named Best App by Apple in 2014 and the Best Self Improvement App in 2015 and 2016 by Google Play, according to TechCrunch it is understood to be profitable in several of its major markets.

“Brainbow’s founders have proven they know how to create and run a successful subscription-based mobile app,” explained Isabelle Magnac, Executive Vice-president of Hachette Livre. It is hoped the startup’s expertise will help to further grow Hachette Livre, at a time when revenue generated from book publishing is waning.

However, “the acquisition of Brainbow is [just]another step in Hachette Livre’s mobile strategy,” revealed Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre. The deal, which follows the company’s acquisition of UK games developer Neon Play in 2016, marks the beginning of a new and commitment to digital innovation.

“For some time Hachette has been developing a plan to diversify into the games market. This is both to provide opportunities for our authors to be published in a new dimension, and also to pursue more generally our aim to generate rapid growth on a variety of digital platforms, stated Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette UK, at the time of the Neon Play acquisition.

As the world’s third-largest book publisher for the general public and educational markets, Hachette Livre currently publishes around 17,000 new print titles a year. But, as digital becomes more difficult to overlook, understanding its potential impact on the publishing market and acting accordingly, will be key to its long-term success.

“We at Hachette today see the future of publishing as continuing to be centrally about sympathetically taking the work of creative people to market, but that market will be more broadly defined in the future, with all the emphasis of digital that modern consumers expect,” explained Hely Hutchinson.

“While we love producing beautiful printed books, this wider vision is at the heart of all our plans for a vibrant and successful future,” he added. The acquisition of Peak proves Hachette doesn’t plan on being left behind.


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