By John Burns
Following in the footsteps of Cycle, Sport Rider, Dirt Rider, Hot Bike, Baggers, et al., Bonnier Corporation has decided to kill off the print version of Motorcyclist, though the online version will continue on with the same staff. Bonnier acquired Cycle World first early this decade, then bought Motorcyclist, Sport Rider, Dirt Rider, and one or two more a couple years later, nearly cornering the US motorcycle magazine market as it doubled down on print. The last two years have been an interesting time, as Motorcyclist and CW experimented with having the two big former competitors intermingle their staffs and resources; Cycle World was supposed to be more timely (a tough thing to do given the decision to make it a quarterly publication instead of a monthly), while Motorcyclist was to be a “lifestyle” bimonthly.
Here’s the official release announcing the change:
MOTORCYCLIST TO BECOME A DIGITAL BRAND
May 23rd, 2019, Irvine, CA — Bonnier Corp. will discontinue the printed edition of Motorcyclist after the July/August issue. The brand will continue online at motorcyclistonline.com, and across all social and video platforms.
“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 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 percent, and subscribers have grown by 494 percent. All existing Motorcyclist staff and production resources will be shifted to address the growth on these channels.