French hotel chain Sofitel will now offer the daily press to its guests through an iPad application, “in a move that could mean a fresh start for the dwindling tradition of the morning newspaper in hotels,” The Independent revealed today. The newspaper service, called “The Kiosk,” provides a selection of six publications per country. For now, there will be media from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United States, the company announced in a press release. Some of dailies included by Sofitel are Le Monde, The Wall Street Journal, El Pais, The Financial Times, Die Welt and La Repubblica. According to The Independent, the service is only available for those “staying in the top end suites in Paris, London, Munich and Brussels,” where each guest is provided with an iPad. The French chain, which plans to expand The Kiosk to all of its locations, explained that the new service is both “environmentally friendly” and convenient for the guests.
A consortium of magazine publishers including Time Inc. and Condé Nast are plan to jointly build an online newsstand for publications in multiple digital formats, according to people with knowledge of the plans. The formation of a new company to run the online newsstand — sometimes characterized as an “iTunes for magazines” — may be announced in early December. Time, Condé Nast, Hearst and Meredith all intend to be equity partners in the new company, although the deals have not yet been signed. In the face of slumping print circulations for many magazines, the publishing houses are eager to exert some control over digital readership, said people at the companies, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the plans. Some newspaper owners have also expressed interest in the joint venture. The new magazine company would, in theory, make it easy to buy print and electronic copies of publications like The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Better Homes and Gardens from a single Web site. While mostly leaving the hardware to others, the alliance of competing publishers would develop software standards for magazine viewing on iPhones, BlackBerrys, e-book readers and other platforms, people with knowledge of the plans said