New tablet editions debut for Benjamin Media’s Utility Contractor, two NRi Digital titles

The B2B magazine segment continues to heat up with new digital magazine launches, probably now keeping pace with the consumer market. The difference is that many familiar and leading B2B magazine titles are still, just now, releasing their first digital editions, while the consumer space is mostly seeing brand new, digital-only titles being released (as most familiar consumer titles have long ago launched digital editions).

UtilityContractor-iPadBenjamin Media already had five iPad editions for its titles in the Apple Newsstand before releasing its first app for a title I have been familiar with for many years – Utility Contractor. Utility Contractor is the official magazine of the National Utility Contractors Association, which in the B2B media business means it has a distinct advantage over other magazine wishing to sell into the space (advertisers typically support first the official association magazine before buying other titles).

As the former publisher of a transportation construction title, the utility business was somewhat outside the scope of my magazine’s focus, but many of the companies we served in were in both areas so we attended NUCA trade shows and often meet up with the folks at Utility Contractor (and respected their efforts).

Utility Contractor Magazine, the app, is similar to the other Benjamin Media apps in that it uses the Adobe DPS to create a hybrid edition, with the ads as seen in print, but the editorial pages reformatted for easy tablet reading. The publishing team seems comfortable with the platform and this is a very nice, simple tablet edition.

There are far less digital-only publishers in the B2B space but one that has been issuing Newsstand apps for their titles is UK-based NRi Digital. TNM looked at a couple of their apps in December for MINE Magazine and Inside Drinks Magazine (see original post here).

InFoodDesign-coversNow the publisher has released Newsstand apps for Inside Food Magazine and Design & Build Review Magazine. One of the apps has launched without an issue inside, though one assumes that will be corrected soon (though why Apple allows this is a big question). The apps are designed in landscape because they are originally online flipbook magazines, so the transition to a landscape tablet edition is the natural choice.

While the Internet publishing era saw the launch of a high profile, well-backed digital-only launch, VerticalNet, the tablet era has not seen a well-financed digital-only start-up emerge to push established B2Bs into the tablet or mobile areas. VerticalNet stole quite a number of editors and sales people away from print titles, luring them with stock options and the romance of being pioneers in the new area of web publishing. But back in the late nineties there was a lot of angel and VC funding for new ventures. Today, VCs shy away from anything that is remotely close to traditional media. That is a shame, because B2B is here to stay as businesses will always be targeting other businesses with their products and services, and while many companies have launched their own content marketing efforts, they can not provide a neutral, open marketplace for industries.

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