Top French app opens a newsstand in Britain

A SHIPMENT of magazines hits the virtual shelves of Britain today as French newsstand app Lekiosk crosses the Channel.

The digital magazine app allows users to browse titles on a rotating 3D-rendered newsstand and buy either individual publications or subscribe to a monthly bundle.

The highest grossing iPad app in France enters the UK with around 100 titles from publishing giants the BBC and Conde Nast – the group behind Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair – as well Maxim and The Week publisher Dennis, and IPC Media, the company behind Nuts and Marie Claire.

Lekiosk co-founder Michael Philippe said: “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.”

Philippe, 25, who launched the app with three friends while at university, told City A.M., “We are really excited to launch in the UK – it’s the perfect market for us because the iPad penetration is so high. There are only 1.5m iPads in France, but 5m in the UK.”

Already gracing the screens of one in four iPads in France, Lekiosk is set for success on British shores if it can capitalise on a declining print magazine market.

YouGov research commissioned by Lekiosk shows that 38 per cent of Brits read fewer magazines today than they did at the start of the recession – 70 per cent of which cite the cost of magazines.

So Lekiosk’s app, which sells digital versions of the printed magazines at a lower cost, is well placed to fill the gap.

Launching in iOS format in the UK today, the newsstand app – dubbed by Philippe as the “Netflix of magazines” – is preparing for a UK release on Android later this year, before expanding to Italy in the autumn.