Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Readers Digest no more?

Doctors and Dentists waiting rooms may never be the same again. Unsolicited prize draw entries may no longer sleet through your letterbox. At least in the UK. The UK Readers Digest has filed for Bankruptcy protection. It is a shame, because of the amusing items said organ was able to provide to take your mind off that impending much-dreaded rectal examination or root canal.

However, the business model that supported said publication is failing because they haven't really moved with the changing markets. There are web sites, but they're mostly just web front ends with paywalls to the content which has been demonstrated not to be the most profitable way to make money online. Some kind of content licensing agreement to other web sites might help their cashflow. Ebook downloads via Amazon, and subscriber only author read content advertised by carefully selected Youtube clips suitable for iPhone and other electronic media. Interactive flash games like Sudoku and crosswords paid for by advertising. The print copy could still be subsidised by the online stuff.

Of course they'd have to downsize anyway because Internet content requires a smaller staff overhead, but at least the good old Readers Digest would survive, which is what a lot of businesses in the UK aren't doing right now.

Just my five cents worth.

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