In another triumph of digital media over legacy media, Buzzmedia said Tuesday that it would buy Spin Media LLC, the 27-year-old music magazine that chronicled the rise of alternative rock in the 1990s. During the last decade, Spin has seen its circulation erode, along that of many other magazine publishers. But New York-based Spin’s problems are particularly acute, because it competed with lightning quick blogs that reinvented both music consumption and criticism.
In contrast, Los Angeles’ Buzzmedia has captured a large swath of Web traffic by buying and partnering with niche tastemakers and A-list celebrity sites alike. It owns or handles advertising for the prominent music blog Stereogum; Hype Machine, an aggregator that streams songs from hundreds of other blogs; and Idolator, a former subsidiary of Nick Denton’s Gawker Media. Buzzmedia also purchased electronic publication XLR8R, which ended the print version of its magazine last year and became an online-only publication.
Spin cut its publishing schedule in half and now comes out only every two months, but the future of its expensive print operation is uncertain. Tyler Goldman, CEO of Buzzmedia, told the New York Times that “print is important for Spin,” but he hasn’t decided on a specific role for the print version of the magazine.
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