B2B publishers need attractive choices when launching their first tablet editions
Mon, Feb 11th 2013 8:22 PM
B2B publishers need attractive choices when launching their first tablet editions

Source: Talking New Media

More and more B2B tablet editions and stand-alone apps are appearing in Apple's App Store these days as the era of experimentation continues.

Some publishers, such as Cygnus Business Media, have taken leadership roles by launching new apps fairly regularly, while others either outsource their efforts, or continue to opt out – at least for now. One of the biggest issues continues to be choosing a digital publishing platform that will be appropriate for their publications.

One option remains outsourcing the app development. Landscape, the Journal of the Landscape Institute has gone this route.he Landscape Institute is a UK organization for landscape architects and the organization has chosen to bring in CoCreate Design & Marketing, a UK web design and marketing agency to build their first tablet edition for their magazine.

Unfortunately, the results are less than satisfactory. What the app delivers is simply a replica edition that presents the print magazine as a missized tablet edition – the print pages don't really fit the screen of the iPad. But much worse is the fact that the organization's pride and joy, its magazine, is now sold under the developer's name inside Apple's Newsstand. This loss of control goes down to the app description that is limited to one sentence, and to screenshots that don't really show much.

For many trade associations with their own publications, building out digital publishing capabilities really is not an option. If the association is currently doing the production and editorial work in-house, the move to digital is a sign of danger for the staff, knowing that outsourcing the magazine might become an attractive option down the line. For custom publishing firms, however, strong digital publishing skills can prove to be a good way of attracting new business – not only from trade associations, but from brands looking to launch their own first tablet apps. The world of mobile and tablet publishing, therefore, looks a lot like the first days of Internet publishing did in the late nineties, with new players coming in to pick off new customers.

Cygnus Business Media continues to be one of the few B2B publishers actively experimenting with tablet editions. Experimenting, I believe, is the right word, because many of their apps feel like efforts to see what will work, what will attract readers, and what the company can do on its own.

Near the end of the year one of its titles, Feed & Grain, released its first iPad app for its Feed & Grain 2013 Equipment & Service Guide.

The B2B title is a BPA-audited trade magazine with 15,706 readers in its last statement. Published only 7 times per year, this is an interesting title to look at in terms of the new digital platforms. Few industry journals of this size have launched anything inside the App Store.

Read more: http://tiny.cc/f7ecsw
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