In what’s beginning to become more expected than surprising, another member of traditional media, specifically magazine publishing, is feeling the pinch from growing online competition. This week, the Reader’s Digest Association filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States (read the details from The New York Times here).
The announcement comes just over two months after the company announced it was reducing circulation of its famous Reader’s Digest magazine (which has been around since 1922) from 8 million to 5.5 million and cutting the number of issues published each year from 12 to 10. Both of those reduction tactics have become common within the magazine publishing industry, so again, the move was not a surprise.
However, it does make you wonder what magazine is next to fall at the hands of the new digital world. At a time when authoritative content online comes from more than just traditional media outlet Web sites but also from expert bloggers, Twitter users, video publishers, and more, the question isn’t so much which print publication will be next to go but which will actually be able to survive.
It’s important to point out that Reader’s Digest Assocation has stated the Chapter 11 filing won’t impact jobs or business, and its flagship magazine will continue to be published. But the writing is on the wall. How fast is the clock ticking?