August 7, 2013 Last Updated 8:24 am

B2B publisher GIE Media updates its digital editions

The magazine app updates are coming at an accelerated pace. One of the more progressive of the B2B publishers, as far as tablet editions is concerned, is GIE Media who has 24 tablet edition apps inside the Apple App Store (just a few less inside Google Play). Today the Ohio-based publisher updated its landscape magazine apps.

The apps updated include GCI – Golf Course Industry, Lawn & Landscape, and PCT – Pest Control Technology. Yesterday the company updated three other apps for American Manufacturing, Recovery, and MOWmentum.

GIE-B2B-iPad-lg_zpsfe87e5f7Most of GIE Media’s tablet edition apps are for good ol’ business-to-business magazines – the kind of magazines that have been at the center of industry for over 100 years, but are beginning to fade away as manufacturers launch their own company periodicals. I’ve published well over a dozen such magazines and still have a soft spot in my heart for B2B publishing, its difficulties, and its close ties to its readers and advertisers.

But GIE Media also has one consumer title in the Newsstand (all of its B2B tablet editions are stand-alone apps) called A Garden Life. The company chose to launch this magazine as digital only in order to try and compete on a more level playing field with the established magazine brands.

“We decided that the only way for a B2B publisher to compete in the consumer magazine industry is to make a digital-only magazine, but we wanted to make it very engaging and very rich,” Chris Foster, President and COO of GIE Media told me earlier this year.

“We went through all the growing pains and the learning curve with A Garden Life,” Foster said. “People engage in the native app versions of magazines so substantially more than they engage in flipbook apps. We see engagement of roughly 47 minutes per entrance into the app, which is huge.”

Because of this, GIE Media has been one of the few B2Bs to go with natively designed tablet editions using the Adobe platform, rather than digital flipbook apps.

“We have an internal web design group and right now we are doing PCT – Pest Control Technology Magazine, Lawn & Landscape and Golf Course Industry in native versions, so we have three, in addition to A Garden Life. So the design teams are separate, and we’re looking at how we could potentially merge those groups to expedite the design process now. We probably won’t be able to do that for the next three to six months but we’re looking at how that might work – because people who do native magazines, they’re very good at native, they love animation, they get the metrics, they get how the page should lay out on a tablet. Traditional designers, though they may do a lot with web, they are still very print focused,” Foster told me early this year.

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