Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Apps of Christmas: the trend of web properties launching tablet magazines gets a boost from Huffington

The Twelve Days of Christmas runs from Christmas Day to the evening of January 5th, or Twelfth Night. But TNM's 12 Apps of Christmas, which began last week, will look at significant media apps (or trends) released in 2012. Today we look at June, continuing the series through New Year's Eve.

June, glorious, June. After some 25 years I finally went on another longish vacation. This business of ours is brutal, isn't it? So TNM was shut down for the last week of the month while I was in Greece – and it's a good thing, too. WiFi was pretty iffy.

Early in the month I was able to highlight the new app from B2B media firm Cygnus Business Media for Aircraft Maintenance Technology. Up to that time – and come to think of it, today as well – Cygnus is one of the few B2Bs out there showing any leadership when it comes to tablet editions. Late in the year Crain Communications finally showed some interest, but far too many B2Bs remain years behind their consumer counterparts.

The big news of the month was supposed to be the introduction of the Microsoft Surface tablet. Steve Ballmer, the company's CEOm could not get the launch event started on time, making everyone want 40 minutes before getting his show started. To make matters much, much worse, Microsoft did not announce either pricing or a launch date despite all the hoopla associated with the event.

Eventually, of course, the Surface surfaced, but only at a few limited retail locations so now Microsoft is still in the midst of rolling out its own tablet. Whether anyone really cares remains, six months after the intro event, an open question.

As far as tablet magazine launches were concerned the biggie was the launch of Huffington. The tablet-only digital magazine was nowhere near the first web property to decide to launch a tablet magazine.
The Next Web, for instance, had launched its digital magazine back in February, and before that one Engadget Distro had appeared in Apple's Newsstand.

But the Huffington Post tablet magazine launch drew the most attention simply because of who was behind the magazine.

Later this year, when the news hit that The Daily would fold, many pointed to these tablet-only magazine published by web properties as proof that any tablet publication would need the support of either a print or online product behind it. One wonders if in the future some will argue that the only way to launch a print product will be to make sure one has a tablet product to support it?

It was also around this time that I got in the habit of producing short video walk-throughs of the new tablet apps. Here is the one produced in June for Huffington: