April 16, 2010 Last Updated 2:30 pm

ABA Journal becomes first B2B, first association magazine on the iPad

The official magazine for the American Bar Association, ABA Journal, has launched a revision of its iPhone app, making the app “universal” — meaning that it now has its own iPad version.
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As far as I know, the ABA becomes the first trade association that has its journal on the iPad with a native app — I guess this would apply to the category of B2B, as well.

ABA Journal’s iPhone app is a useful RSS reader — a minimalist application that brings readers current headlines, as well as content from the latest issue of ABA Journal, and blog content (or Blawgs, as the Journal calls them).

The iPad app is rightly designed a bit differently, taking on a more web-like look — though one wonders if iPad apps should mimic print more than the web. Unfortunately, the app does not take advantage of the iPad’s ability to display graphics attractively as there are very few pictures and no multimedia content at all.

The thing that stood out to me, though, was that promotional box that can be plainly seen in the screenshots below. Is this a medium rectangle ad spot was left unsold at launch?

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Trade publishers have a huge advantage over their consumer brethren in that they have a built-in mechanism for promoting their apps — their e-mail lists and e-newsletters. A B2B publication app is, by definition, of limited interest to the general public. B2Bs face to challenges: a limited audience, and the fact that apps get lost in the vast number of apps in iTunes. (No doubt Apple needs to rethink its iTunes app store now that there are thousands upon thousands of apps.)

But unlike consumer apps, the B2Bs can let its target audience know about their app fairly easily by promoting it via the web, its print editions, and as mentioned, e-mail and e-newsletters. Additionally, its advertisers are often very eager to promote the PR and advertising that appears on the iPad (“Look here, we’re on the iPad!”).

Despite this, the trade press is lagging behind all other media segments when it comes to mobile media.

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