'Readers Digest' Publishes First Digital-To-Print Issue

Reader’s Digest is publishing a unique issue this week, curating its most successful digital health content to create a special “Ultimate Health Guide” print issue.

The “Ultimate Health Guide” is available on newsstands beginning this week. It will have a circulation of about 400,000 and a cover price of $4.99.

The issue features a special report on the silent symptoms that signal a potentially serious health concern and how to identify them to reduce the medical risks. The issue also examines ways that readers can deal with common health problems, such as headaches, joint pain, insomnia and stomach problems.  

“We know that our monthly multichannel audiences of nearly 27 million have an incredible passion for our health and wellness information,” stated Bruce Kelley, Chief Content Officer of Reader’s Digest, a Trusted Media Brands title. “Based on research with these audiences, we believe there is a strong appetite for this information in a highly curated print-only edition.”

Deemed its first “digital to print” issue, the magazine will include a range of popular wellness and fitness content from the brand’s site, RD.com. (Reader’s Digest produces more than 900 pieces of content a month, about 40% of which is health related, Kelley said.)

Kelley told Publishers Daily the RD.com site serves as a good “testing ground” for print, to gauge readers’ interests in certain topics and stories. “My thinking is we use the web to really figure out what people most care about and then give it to them in magazine form as well,” he said.

Health and medical topics do especially well moving from digital to print, he added.

Reader’s Digest has tested the "digital to print" method before.

“Silent Signs Your Body Is In Big Trouble” was the cover story in September 2015 and borne from an online slideshow. It was Reader’s Digest’s best-selling cover in a couple of years, Kelley said.

“We kept rolling out that franchise online until we had published dozens of articles on ‘Silent Signs You May Have ….’ that became the basis for this special newsstand issue,” he said.

Another slideshow on what cardiologists do to protect their own hearts performed well online and was edited for the June print issue of Reader’s Digest.

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