It is the end of an era, as we get word from Dealer News that Motorcyclist Magazine will cease its print production after its July/August edition.
Going forward, the fabled print publication will shift to a purely digital medium, focusing on its website, social media channels, and video productions.
This move comes just two and a half years after Motorcyclist switched to a six-issue per year format, as the brand tried to re-gear itself as more of a lifestyle offering for two-wheeled enthusiasts.
That play was met with mixed success, and clearly with today’s news, the money side of the equation didn’t work for Motorcyclist’s owners, the Bonnier Corporation.
It will be a brave new world as Motorcyclist begins its purely digital pursuits, but already the publication is working on the back foot, having lost the talent of Ari Henning and Zack Courts, who were largely responsible for driving Motorcyclist’s six-issue print publication as well as the publication’s video channels.
With Henning and Courts jumping ship to Motor Trend to produce more video content for the car-focused channel’s streaming service, the vacuum they left behind has been filled with a number of industry stalwarts, for both words and video.
To their credit, the Bonnier Motorcycle Group boasts some impressive figures for its digital properties, though some of those figures are padded with bought followers (typically not from the American market), or are leftovers from the previous administration’s work.
For example, a quick look at Motorcyclist’s YouTube channel shows that there is viewership gap from the Henning/Courts videos and the new regime’s, with clearly some of the audience not sticking around for Motorcyclist’s new hosts and series.
Still, Motorcyclist starts its new digital adventure with already a strong reported audience, which should allow them to leverage their followers into whatever pursuits they deem interesting.
Of course, it takes time to build audience, and Motorcyclist is still producing quality content for YouTube, but one has to wonder how much time is on the clock for the brand to be profitable in a purely digital realm…and if that profitability can be achieved in an authentic way that doesn’t trade revenue for journalistic integrity.
As long-time readers of the print publication, we wish them the best of luck.
Source: Dealer News