One of the topics I hardly every hear discussed on media industry websites is that of tactics B2B publishers can use to produce tablet editions and to reach their audience. Usually the topic is the exclusive subject for consumer publishers who are mostly concerned with reaching as many readers as possible. B2B publishers have a completely different agenda. The publisher of Contracting Business, a Penton Media title, could care less if they reach 40,000 readers (their print circulation level) via the Apple Newsstand if none of those readers are actually contractors. Most of B2B tablet editions are free of charge because their print magazines are also free, being distributed exclusively to qualified readers.
As a result, many B2B publishers, especially in the U.S., are staying on the sidelines. A few have launched replica editions through their printer or flipbook vendor, and a few (like Macfadden) have experimented with native tablet editions.
But more and more B2B publishers are telling me that their readers are inquiring as to whether they can read their trade magazines on their iPads or Kindles.
Not having a tablet edition means losing touch with industry members, especially younger members. Whether this was a motivating factor in the decision by Heathesystems's decision to launch a tablet edition or not, but the services company has launched a tab version of its publication RXInformer.
On the publication's website, the reader is invited to sign up to receive the print edition, a PDF, or an "iPad e-Book" – an unusual way to describe their first tablet edition.
Experience the Healthesystems RxInformer e-zine App to learn about current and emerging issues impacting workers’ compensation. This interactive publication is produced by an expert staff of clinicians, pharmacists, compliance and government affairs experts and product specialists. Topics include the latest information on new medications and special reports on problematic drug issues such as opioids, hydrocodone and polypharmacy; compliance and regulatory updates; and future trends affecting both pharmacy and ancillary benefits management.The digital version of RXInformer looks very much like a replica edition, but it's not. One sees the pages resemble what you'd see in print, but the iPad "pages" have new page numbers applied to them, all on the left side. The reader can scroll within stories and swipe to reach the next, just like any other native tablet edition. But most of the pages appear to have been ported over directly from the print edition as there is a lot of white space on some pages, something digital editions avoid, and the fonts are a tad small.
It's exactly what you'd expect from a publisher experimenting with the platform. Now the publisher need to promote its new tablet edition through its website, newsletters and emails – anything that can inform its highly targeted audience that there is now a digital edition that can be accessed.