February 3, 2014 Last Updated 11:03 am

B2B magazine apps: African Mining releases native app, while AMI chooses replica edition

The B2B media sector is slowly beginning to heat up when it comes to launching tablet editions. There are now well over 500 different magazine titles in the Professional & Trade category, the vast majority free apps with libraries that allow readers to access the digital versions of the magazines for free, as well.

AM-iPad-coverAfrican Mining comes from Brooke Pattrick Publications, and appears in the Apple Newsstand under the developer account of Digital Publications SA. The South African company makes both apps and flip books.

But the app is not a replica edition, as you might expect from the maker of flipbooks. Instead it is a nice, simply native tablet edition, with layouts that allow for fonts that are a comfortable size. In other words, an easy reading tablet magazine.

The issue inside the app weights in at 82 MB – small for a native tablet magazine, but reflective of the simple, be effective choices made with the app.

As many B2B magazines are, the issues are free to access through the app.

Pipeline Coating magazine comes from Applied Market Information, a B2B publisher with very specialized titles. This new Newsstand app is the five title from the publisher to appear in the Apple App Store. Injection World, Compounding World, Film and Sheet and Pipe and Profile, being the previously issued apps.

PipelineCoating-cover-lgWith Pipe Coating what we see is the standard approach most U.S. trade publishers have taken once they have decided to launch an app: replica edition from a third party vendor, in this case, YUDU.

The B2B publishing trade has been especially hard hit from the recession, not to mention the growth of digital media alternatives. As a result, the segment is far behind the consumer segment when it comes to creating digital editions. The situation is complicated by the fact that most B2B titles rely on qualified circulation, rather than paid, so digital edition that are replicas of print titles do not hold out the promise of a new revenue stream.

That is why one wonders why the segment hasn’t experimented with either new paid digital products, or else, begun creating new special section-type digital magazines – products that are driven by new advertising.

In any case, the B2B publishers are poorly served by the Apple Newsstand as it now exists. The Professional & Trade category has no titles being promoted by the top carousel in iTunes, and those magazines listed as “New” are actually just an alphabetical listing of the titles (meaning those “A” magazines get shown on the front page). It has now been months since the Apple Newsstand seems to have been given any attention at all by Apple. Yet who does one complain to? And who represents the publishers who will do the complaining?

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