Reader’s Digest, one of the original “content aggregators,” is working on revamping itself digitally. Long before the web even existed, Readers Digest was republishing content from other magazines, bundled together in a form that would give subscribers access to a wide variety of interesting content.
The magazine was apparently hit hard by the digital age—it just emerged from bankruptcy last year—but has been making a comeback; it is currently the bestselling magazine in the Kindle Store, and has released three apps this year. And it just hired Matthew Goldenberg, former managing editor and operations director for Bloomberg, to be the general manager for its website, RD.com.
When one thinks of the 89-year-old Reader’s Digest brand, one doesn’t generally think of the digital cutting edge—one thinks of piles of digest-sized magazines sitting and gathering dust, and abridged books with colorful spines lining musty old bookshelves. (Or at least I do.) This is one case where brand recognition might work against it a little: “Reader’s Digest? Isn’t that what my grandparents used to read?”
Still, if Reader’s Digest can become a successful digital brand, there’s hope for just about any book or magazine publisher out there.