February 4, 2015 Last Updated 1:37 pm

UK B2B EMAP’s new iOS and Android apps continue series of B2B apps using the Pugpig platform

Apps for Retail Jeweller, Ground Engineering and Drapers released as stand-alone news apps rather than digital editions inside digital newsstands

The UK trade publisher EMAP is taking a bit of a different approach to its digital app editions, releasing stand-alone apps that are constantly updated with content during the day rather than simply as digital editions released into the Apple or Google Play newsstands. This last week EMAP released new apps for Retail Jeweller, and Ground Engineering (iTunes links).

RJ-EMAP-iPadThe apps join similar apps released earlier for Drapers, The Architectural Review, HSJ – Health Service Journal, MEED, Nursing Times, Retail Week, New Civil Engineer, and Construction News.

The publisher’s sole Newsstand app is for The AJ (The Architect’s Journal), which was built using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

Each of the stand-alone apps, on the other hand, uses the Pugpig digital publishing platform. In essence, these are news apps rather than digital editions. Each are free to download and access (for the most part) and are constantly updated with new content.

Many publishers and digital publishing platforms are questioning the idea that readers will want their print magazines converted to digital, and wonder if readers will be drawn to these apps often enough. By delivering content on a more regular basis, rather than just once a month or so, they may be able to keep readers coming back.

In an interview with TNM back in fall, Mag+ CEO Gregg Hano echoed these concerns about publishing frequency.

“There is so much information that they can begin to drill down and begin to share with their consumers on a weekly basis, or on a more regular basis, that is pushed to their devices, so that when they pick it up, one of those 150 times a day, they see that little bit of content come through. And they begin to engage with the brand more regularly,” Hano told TNM.

GE-EMAP-iPadThe new apps from EMAP are designed to be read on both smartphones and tablets, and so work just as well for Android as iOS, though EMAP might want to rewrite the app descriptions for Ground Engineering inside Google Play as it reads “Fully responsive to iPad and iPhone, so you can access your content across all your Apple devices.”

The big challenge for EMAP editors will be the same as for the web: delivering enough interesting content on a daily or even hourly basis. Many B2B websites are sadly missing in original content, with most of it put online only after the print magazine has been put to bed. In many ways, weekly trade publications appear to have an advantage in that they are designed to produce more content for their weekly print publications and so are in a better position to produce web content, as well. The monthly print cycle, however, has meant that many of these publications are thinly staffed and ill suited to produce the volumes of content needed to drive a successful website (which is why some have chosen to hire editors specifically for the web).

EMAP still has a couple brands that have not yet entered the apps stores, but it appears that the company has settled on a strategy and we might soon see new apps for H&V News and the few other publications currently without apps.

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