During my time as a B2B publisher I've had quite a number of rather dull sounding magazines under my management: Roads and Bridges, Industrial Paint and Powder, Outdoor Power Equipment. As uninteresting as these titles may sound to outsiders, they were (and in some cases are) very much of interest to their readers and advertisers.
So when I see a group of magazines inside the App Store titled Compounding World, Pipe and Profile Extrusion, Film and Sheet Extrusion and Injection World my eyes don't gloss over they brighten with interest.
Published by Applied Market Information Ltd., a U.K. market research consultancy, and seen inside the App Store under the AMI Plastics name, these four titles are among the latest magazines to become available inside Apple's Newsstand.
While very few U.S. trade publishers have braved the new world of mobile or tablet publishing, publishers in Europe are more adventurous (is the U.K. still part of Europe? I'll have to check the latest news reports).
That doesn't mean, however that these four new apps have broken any new ground, unfortunately. All four are replica editions, and none of the four require that the readers downloading the apps either qualify to read the magazines or pay the publisher to access the content. All the apps are identically designed, and though there is a mechanism inside to register, the process is completely voluntary.
But there they are, nonetheless, inside the App Store and available to be downloaded.
So how can Newsstand work for a B2B publisher who normally only distributes their magazine to readers inside a particular industry?
I would suggest (again) that the way this can be done is to create an app that demands that the reader pay a subscription fee or else log-in as a current print subscriber.
The problem with this is that Apple has said that publisher's can't charge for a subscription inside the App Store if the product is available for free outside the store. But many B2B's already charge "non-qualified" readers to subscribe, only giving the magazine away for free to its qualified readers, so I don't believe this method is a violation of the developer rules (though if a publisher knows differently than I'd like to hear about it).