October 11, 2013 Last Updated 2:21 pm

B2B publisher Penton Media launches Newsstand app for MeetingsNet, built with Mag+

With 40 apps already in the Apple App Store, and just a few less than that for the iPhone, trade publisher Penton Media has done something new in the App Store: launched a native tablet edition for one of its trade journals.

MeetingsNet-iPad-1-lgMeetingsNet is a universal Newsstand, built using the Mag+ platform. The app delivers a tablet edition preview issue of 171 MB, and a one of 47 MB for the iPhone.

MeetingsNet, the print magazine, is a collection of three titles which range from 8,000 to just over 26,000 which serve the events industry for associations, medical and corporate meetings. One would presume that the new digital publication will serve all three areas.

The app and its contents are free to download, and one can also subscribe free of charge for a year, as well.

The iPad edition one would call a hybrid edition: the ads are pretty much as you would see them in print, though with some add-ons. The editorial is reformatted for the digital device. One can tell immediately this is a Mag+ app with its scrolling text boxes, and flowing pages which the reader scrolls within the story.

MeetingsNet-iPad-2-lg“It’s out pleasure to share our interactive magazine and invite you to be a part of a rich and engaging experience designed to help you, our meeting professional reader, do your jobs better and more efficiently,” writes the editorial and design team in the introductory column.

“As you can already see, we haven’t just created a replica of one of our print magazines,” it continues. “Instead, we’re creating a monthly package of interactive article, photo galleries, videos, and other content ranging from how-tis, to case studies, to innovative event ideas, to the very latest trends in meetings and meeting management all delivered on a cutting-edge app – it’s a whole new world of content, ready to travel with you on your tablet.”

It is interesting that the team mentioned reading the new digital edition on a tablet as this app is universal. The iPhone app edition is essentially the same as the tablet edition, though one would guess that the resolution might be different as the file size is smaller.

MeetingsNet-iPhone5-lgThe idea of creating a “replica” of the tablet edition for the iPhone is a bit of a mistake because of how hard it is to read. This is not a native mobile magazine. You see something can be a replica without if referring to print. This could work, however, if the rest of the app were like a basic news app, bring in RSS feeds from a website. Then the digital magazine issues would simply be an add-on feature.

Like all B2B Newsstand apps from publishers of qualified circulation magazines, Penton’s new digital edition faces the issue of qualified readership. Without a built in qualification mechanism, launching for the Newsstand forces the B2B publisher to decided whether to just let everyone interested in, force readers out by making the app a “reader” app where only those already with accounts can access the issues, or make readers pay for the issues.

Most B2Bs have made the same choice that Penton’s team has made here. (I’ve seen only one app, from Europe, that attempted to create a qualification regime right inside the app.)

Building a tablet edition is usually an experiment for B2B publishers, but as Penton already is auditing digital readership within its BPA audits of MeetingsNet, it is one that could allow them to slowly migrate their readers onto the new platform. This is certainly an excellent start.

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