July 16, 2013 Last Updated 11:22 am

B2B publisher Benjamin Media launches first tablet edition for ‘Solar Builder’

SolarBuilder-app-icon-smThere is little dispute that B2B publishers have been the most cautious when it comes to launching tablet editions. There are plenty of good reasons to be cautious, for sure. The Newsstand is hardly an environment built for B2B publishers as there is no API for qualifying readers, nor a good way to limit access to the app for non-qualified readers. So it is not surprising that many B2B publishing execs are hesitant to invest in tablet editions, unless their printer is building them a replica edition, that is.

Benjamin Media, a Ohio B2B publisher with seven titles in its stable, has made the leap this week with the launch of its first Newsstand app for its bi-monthly magazine Solar Builder. The Newsstand app, Solar Builder Magazine, is free, and like many B2B titles, is also offering the issues for free, as well.

The magazine reaches a modest audience of about 7,500 readers, according to its media kit, and is not BPA audited. This, I suppose, allows the magazine to report any new readership to its advertisers without creating any conflicts with the auditor.

The new app has launched with the May/June issue inside, and at first blush looks like it must be a replica edition: it is portrait-only and appears as though the pages have been simply brought over from the PDF.

SolarBuilder-editorscolumn-lgBut, lo and behold, this is not the case. At the editor’s column one sees that the text is inside a scrolling text box, a dead giveaway that a native tablet edition is in your hands.

The digital editions and app, it turns out, is using the Adobe DPS – quite an investment for a B2B title not attempting to sell digital subscriptions. On the other hand, in a time where many B2Bs are becoming thinner and struggling to maintain their circulation levels, adding a tablet edition makes tremendous sense.

Starting off with Solar Builder Magazine is a bit of an odd choice since one would think that the company might have launched Trenchless Technology or Compact Equipment as a Newsstand app first. But it may have been the case that the publisher thought starting off with a bi-monthly title first would be the smart way to go. We’ll see if other titles start appearing inside the Newsstand in the months to come.

  • Keith Gribbins 4 years ago

    The Compact Equipment magazine app should be out this month!

  • Bernie Krzys 4 years ago

    In fact, the Trenchless Technology app is well underway and will be launched shortly