A B2B magazine, designed for the iPad
It makes perfect sense that a magazine about tablets would be published exclusively on a tablet. Such is the concept behind TabTimes, which is closing in on the launch of its premiere issue on Apple’s iPad this fall.
TabTimes will chronicle the business use of tablets – an area that is expected to grow rapidly as the tablet computer market evolves. Deloitte predicts that more than 25 percent of all tablets will be bought by businesses this year – a figure surpassing 10 million devices. Deloitte predicts as many as 5 million tablets could be deployed in retail and healthcare environments alone.
From a publishing standpoint, launching an iPad-based digital magazine has some similarities to creating a new print magazine. George Jones, editor of TabTimes, said the launch team is taking advantage of the iPad’s portability and form factor to take a more magazine-like approach to presentation. Expect a variety of layouts that leverage traditional print elements such as sidebars and eye-catching art to accompany feature stories.
“What you’ll see is an app that is visually appealing,” Jones said in a phone interview. “It will be less linear than a standard stream on a website. We’ll add some color and commentary and attitude.”
Of course, these print-like layouts will be buttressed with interactive elements such as embedded videos and image galleries – fast becoming checklist items for any tablet-based digital edition. For example, power rankings of app publishers, platform developers or tablet-based advertising solutions provide good fodder for interactivity – while also providing resources to help business users make purchasing decisions about tablets.
The ability to combine useful information with visually appealing presentation – a longstanding challenge among trade publishers – could be one key to developing successful tablet-based business magazines.
Another key is frequency. TabTimes will push fresh content to its app daily, balancing a newsfeed with the look and feel of a weekly or monthly. “The app will be dynamic,” Jones said. “At any point when a user checks in, they’ll see new stories, but with some kind of splash screen that also highlights a showcase story.”
Social sharing tools will be prominent throughout the publication – one benefit of the startup’s decision not to charge for the app. TabTimes’ revenue model is fairly traditional, driven by display advertising and sponsorships, though Jones said the team will explore other revenue opportunities as the publication matures (they’re currently looking for a full-time sales manager).
Patrick Pierra, former CEO of Canadian ad network BV Media, conceived TabTimes and will serve as its publisher.
TabTimes initially will be released only on the iPad, although Jones said other tablet platforms will be considered down the road. App development is being outsourced to Atom Apps.