Change is the only constant, as they say (well, not too many of them). The news that Motorcyclist Magazine is about to print its final edition with the July/August issue this year, entering an era of digital-only publication, including YouTube videos and social media activities, reminds us of one particular press launch on the cusp of this industry transformation.
It was January of 2000 when an upstart internet-only publication known as Motorcycle Daily attended a press launch at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Honda CBR929RR. To say we were the odd man out is a gross understatement, as the scorn from the print mags directed towards MD in front of Honda personnel was, on occasion, direct and express.
At that press launch, MD became the first enthusiast publication (whether automobile or motorcycle) to provide same-day reporting of our first impressions of the vehicle under evaluation. Armed with our state-of-the-art, kick-ass, two megapixel camera and its atrocious auto-focus, we snuck into Freddie Spencer’s office at the track and plugged in our dial-up modem to upload a brief story and pictures while the other journalists were enjoying lunch (seemingly unconcerned with their own 6-8 week print deadlines). At dinner that night, we overheard one of the print journalists flatly state that Honda wasted a valuable spot inviting a web site, because motorcycle Ezines would never amount to anything of significance.
Here is the dealer news statement regarding the final print edition of Motorcyclist:
Say it ain’t so! After more than 100 years, Motorcyclist Magazine will no longer be in print as of the July/August issue according to Bonnier Corp. “Like other enthusiast-content segments, motorcycle readership has evolved to a truly digital audience,” said Andy Leisner, SVP Managing Director of the Bonnier Motorcycle Group. “There have been substantial shifts in consumer content preferences as well as advertisers’ desire to reach motorcycle consumers on these growing digital platforms.”
The brand will continue online at motorcyclistonline.com and across all social and video platforms.
Leisner claims the digital audience for Motorcyclist has grown substantially, led by the 1.18 million enthusiasts who interact with Motorcyclist’s social channels, including 630,597 Motorcyclist YouTube subscribers. In the past two years, Motorcyclist’s YouTube views have grown by 239%, and subscribers have grown by 494%. All existing Motorcyclist staff and production resources will be shifted to address the growth on these channels.
See more of MD’s great photography: