Talking New Media

B2B publisher Putman Media releases two tablet editions into the Apple Newsstand

Illinois-based trade publisher uses the Mag+ digital publishing platform for creating native iPad editions for two of their qualified circulation magazines

Two native tablet editions have been released into the Apple Newsstand by Schaumburg, Illinois based Putman Media: Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and The Journal from Rockwell Automation. Like many trade magazines, the two new apps are free to download and access the issues – with subscriptions available, as well.

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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing is a monthly trade magazine with a qualified circulation of around 25,000. The Journal from Rockwell Automation, as the name suggests, is the official magazine from Rockwell Automation.

Both new digital magazines are meant to be read in portrait, and are native digital editions that use the Mag+ digital publishing platform. The new apps are excellent examples of what a digital edition from a B2B publisher can look like if a little time and money is invested in digital publishing efforts.

The Journal is simpler in look as there is no third party advertising to be added to the issues. But the digital edition is easy to read and navigate, and utilizes the native digital features of better digital editions: scrolling within stories, scrolling text boxes, and the like.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, on the other, incorporates the print edition’s advertising pages, and features a few more multimedia elements such as video.

While Pharmaceutical Manufacturing contains only one issue – the newest one, April – The Journal from Rockwell Automation contains back issues dating back to April 2014. The most recent issue is February 2015, but one assumes the April issue will appear inside the app soon.

Publishers of B2B print magazines, like those of print consumer magazines, have a distinct advantage over digital-only publishers. A few years ago, app discovery inside the Apple Newsstand was not so much an issue. In fact, that is one reason given for creating the Newsstand.

But since Apple abandoned maintaining its own digital newsstand, app discovery has become so difficult that publishers have begun to look for alternatives to either the Newsstand or even the iOS platform. Shysters actually have a big advantage inside the Newsstand because they allowed to falsely name their digital magazines “starting out with “AA” is one trick) and can flood the Newsstand look-a-like titles designed merely to lure unsuspecting subscribers.

But B2B have their circulation lists, as well as all those databases of prospects and former readers to use to drive downloads. This was the promise of digital editions: that readers would move to digital; new, young readers would find the titles; and costs would eventually fall as paper, ink and postal costs were reduced. It still could happen. But publishers need to be able drive those downloads and encourage digital subscriptions – even if they are free, as many qualified magazines would be.