May 24, 2016 Last Updated 12:46 pm

New B2B digital magazines: Tilt Magazine and The Haunt Journal

One new digital-only magazine is designed for young social entrepreneurs, while the other is a replica edition of a print magazine promoting a West Coast trade show

If you would have asked me three years ago about the future of B2B magazines in the digital space I would have said ‘wait, in three years you’ll see most B2B magazines inside the Apple Newsstand.” Well, the Apple Newsstand is gone, and Apple stopped maintaining the category (more on that below), so the incentive to use the digital magazine platform has decreased significantly.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few new magazines that enter the format, just that they come in ones and twos over a long period of time.


Two new titles that are available are <Tilt Magazine from Jacqueline Colmar and The Haunt Journal from Philip Hernandez of the Haunted Attractions Network.

Tilt Magazine is one of those titles that I am always scared to write about because it doesn’t have any credits explaining who is behind the magazine (though one assumes it is Jacqueline Colmar because the app appears under her name), and the website link goes to a site that also works hard to be anonymous.

“Tilt Magazine is a digital magazine designed for young social entrepreneurs,” the app description reads. “We interview the best and brightest social entrepreneurs to break down what they do and how they do it. Each issue will also include actionable content to help young social innovators out there make a bigger impact.”

The app uses the MagLoft platform to build a simple, but easy to read digital magazine.

If you are interested in the subject it makes sense to download, especially as it is free to access. But I think I’m done talking about anonymously published digital magazines because if I dare criticize them they start threatening to sue me.

The Haunt Journal is a bit different in that it is a replica edition of a print magazine. The magazine supports the West Coast Haunters Convention, so this one is pretty fun.

Haunt Journal magzineIt, too, is free to access, but whereas Tilt Magazine appears under the publisher’s (or presumed publisher’s) developer account name, this one appears under the name of the digital publishing platform used – in this case Limited, or Pocketmags. The link in the app description goes to the Pocketmags website rather than the website of the West Coast Haunters Convention.

The platform still refers to the Apple Newsstand on its website, a throw back to the time when the sales pitch to publishers was about the money to be made in digital magazines:

“The launch of Apple’s ‘Newsstand’ in late 2011 changed the face of digital publishing forever. A magazine folder, Newsstand, now comes pre-installed on all Apple mobile and tablet devices, waiting to be filled,” reads the MagazineCloner website.

The advantage of using one of the replica maker platforms is that they generally do a creative job with their introduction and store pages (as see here at left). The disadvantage, of course, is that all the linkage goes to them, not to mention that a PDF replica is hard to read on an iPad mini, and impossible to read on an iPhone.

This replica, though, really should be called an enhanced replica in that there are links and other native digital features here. For instance, in a story of multiple pages, the reader scrolls down to access the other replica pages, mimicking the navigation of native digital magazines.

This next month marks the three year anniversary for the time when Eddy Cue decided to stop his team from maintaining the Newsstand (and later the Magazines & Newspapers category). I’ve never heard a good explanation as to why Apple decided to screw digital publishers, but one CEO of a digital publishing platform told me that he knew there was trouble ahead late in 2012 when Apple expressed disappointment in the sales they were seeing.

If Google were ever to send me a top-end Android tablet I’d probably never look at another iOS digital magazine again, but I hear from Google only slightly more often than I do Apple. So here we are, stuck in a time when none of the major platforms show much interest in digital magazines, yet there are still publishers out there launching new ones in hope of reaching readers.

(There was about two hours when I thought I’d take the Microsoft tablet platform seriously. That was when it was announced at Adobe Max in 2014 that everyone attending the event would be given a Microsoft Surface tablet for free. But two hours after that was announced I learned that that didn’t include the press, which they most certainly didn’t want to have the Surface tablets they were handing out. I assume they were trying to get rid of these early Surface tablets and could write them off as a marketing cost by giving them away. In any case, it was a clear message that Microsoft wasn’t interested in TNM writing about the Surface and anything that could be found in its app store and I’ve taken them at their word ever since.)

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