Hold the front page. lekiosk, the digital newsstand launches in the UK today. Could an app like this help to improve business for print titles?

The 3D news app is on approximately one in four iPads in France and is the highest grossing app for the Apple tablet in the French App Store. Those are some pretty impressive stats, so what’s the appeal?

Lekiosk is a digital newsstand app for iOS which allows consumers to purchase and start reading magazines easily. Magazines are displayed in a visually intriguing way that is designed to recreate the feeling of reading in print.

Users can also create a virtual library of their favourite content to access whenever they want. As you might expect with a real newsstand, browsers can scroll through all available magazines and then purchase them on a one-off basis or as part of a subscription.

lekioskfr520 Read all about it, Lekiosk launches its beautiful newsstand in the UK

The service has a neat ‘10 magazines for £10’ monthly bundle available too, although not every magazine sold through the portal is available through the bundle, so choose carefully.

The UK version of the app allows users to browse, sample, and purchase titles from a rotating British-style newsstand which has been rendered in 3D.

Along with the slick presentation, the content on offer is also impressive. Publishers including the BBC, Condé Nast, and Dennis have already signed up to lekiosk ensuring that around 100 titles are available to consumers today. The company says that it is the combination of bundling this offer along with the interesting presentation of content that has made it such a success in France.

YouGov consumer research commissioned by lekiosk to support the launch reveals that 1 in 20 Brits are already reading magazine media on tablet computers, but that the idea of doing so appeals to as much as 36 per cent of UK consumers.

The research continues to show that there are many reasons why UK residents enjoy reading magazines on tablets. These include the speed of access to content, portability of digital media, convenience of purchasing content anywhere and at any time through their devices and because it would give them the ability to cross reference content between multiple tablet applications.

So although you can’t draw moustaches on the photos with a Biro, there’s a lot to be said for getting your glossy fix on a portable device.

Michael Philippe, co-founder of lekiosk, notes that the shift in presentation and consumption of print is echoed in the changes of other media:

“The magazine industry is undergoing the same shift we saw in the music industry a few years ago – tomorrow’s magazine consumers are going to be doing their reading on tablet screens. Most publishers have already realised that it’s in their interest to make their content available to these upwardly mobile consumers because they’ll be able to offer them the same rich visual experience, but in a much more convenient way.

Publishers are keen to work with us because they know that we’re committed to helping them sell more copies of their magazines and give consumers the best possible experience.”

A boost to an ailing industry?

The YouGov research also showed that 38 per cent of Brits read fewer magazines today than they did at the start of the recession. According to the poll, 70 per cent of the people reading less than they used to have cut down because of the cost of magazines, 42 per cent are now too busy to spend as much time reading as they did previously, and over 1 in 10 consumers are put off by the crowded print magazine landscape.

lekioskuk520 Read all about it, Lekiosk launches its beautiful newsstand in the UK

Lekiosk and the publishers supporting the app believe that declining print revenues can be counteracted by growing the proportion of people purchasing and reading magazines on digital devices like smartphones and tablets.

It’s a given that most print titles should go digital, but ensuring that readers can find what’s on offer in an easy way is a different problem. Publishing a production that is lovely to read is one thing, but getting it in front of the eyes of the audience is another, so maybe a newsstand for digital times is a familiar method from the world of carbon copy that may prove to be a solution.

The UK version of lekiosk is now available for iPhone and iPad via the Apple App Store. Android users will have to be a little more patient, a UK version of the app is set for release in September.

➤ lekiosk

Check out the video for a taste of the news presented in the French style.

Image Credit: 85mm.ch