Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Morning Brief: B2B publishers update their tablet edition apps; RR Donnelley signs deal with Williams-Sonoma to renew and expand catalog printing agreement

Several B2B publishers issued updates to their tablet edition apps this morning. Among them, GIE Media issued updates to Lawn & Landscape, PCT - Pest Control Technology and GCI - Golf Course Industry.

The UK trade pub InPublishing, which covers the newspaper and magazine business, issued an update to change out its branding. As is typical of almost all the trade magazines that cover the publishing business. InPublishing Magazine is a replica edition (and not even one inside the Newsstand), in this case produced by YUDU.

It remains a sad fact that the B2B magazines covering our industry are not providing much leadership when it comes to mobile or tablet publishing platforms.

Another UK publisher, Haymarket Business Media, has updated its advertising trade magazine app. Haymarket's app for Campaign Magazine, uses the Pugpig platform to create a native app, but one that is more like a mobile news app rather than a true tablet edition (see original post on the app here) – a somewhat logical solution for a weekly publication that feels it would be better off building a tablet edition off their website content rather than their print edition due to production limitations.

Finally, 30Dc updated its universal app for Digital Publisher, a magazine published at this point mainly to promote its MagCast platform. Like all MagCast apps, the magazine is fairly plain jane, though at least the pages are designed to iPad specs, insuring readable fonts.

In January 30DC bought out the business assets of Netbloo Media, acquiring 100 percent control of of MagCast, along with its digital magazine, which still appears under the Netbloo Media developer account name.

R. R. Donnelley & Sons nnounced that it has been awarded a multi-year agreement by the retailer Williams-Sonoma that
renews and significantly expands the companies' printing relationship. Williams-Sonoma's catalog titles include its namesake, Williams-Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, PBdorm, Pottery Barn Bed & Bath, Pottery Barn Outdoor, West Elm, Rejuvenation as well as its recently launched Mark and Graham, Agrarian and West Elm Market.

Pottery Barn was among the first to produce a digital version of its catalog for the Apple App Store, a buggy replica built by PixelMags. That horrible app appears to have been wisely pulled from the App Store, but the retailer has not moved develop a more progressive digital publishing strategy since that first effort, relying on third party catalog aggregators instead. Donnelley has its own digital publishing solutions, though those, too, are all about producing replica editions of print products.