Serving, perhaps, as a most tangible example of how online media is overtaking print media, on Tuesday, entertainment blog empire Buzzmedia announced its acquisition of 27-year-old alternative music publication Spin Magazine.
In what CEO Tyler Goldman describes as the organization’s “biggest acquisition” to date, Buzzmedia (whose family of websites includes such notables as Stereogum, PureVolume, Fanpop, Gorilla vs Bear and many others) will acquire not only the print publication of Spin, but also Spin.com, its related events company, and ownership of the Spin iPad app, as reported by Business Insider.
Spin has long been considered the standard in news concerning up-and-coming acts in the various alternative genres, but the mag’s circulation has fallen to around 300,000 in recent years, while the Spin.com website sees monthly traffic of over 1 million unique visits.
Goldman says that among other things, Buzzmedia’s interest in Spin was due to its “print presence [and] potential for cross-platform opportunities.” However, the CEO actually drew more attention to the issue by what he didn’t say—namely, that Buzzmedia was planning to maintain and/or expand the print sector of the company. This omission has raised a fair amount of speculation as to whether Buzzmedia truly intends to expand as a media conglomerate, or if its long-term plans are to phase out the print publication of Spin and expand the brand as an online presence.
Regardless of what Buzzmedia plans to do with Spin, this purchase has wide reaching ramifications as to the changes in media, and how it affects the music industry itself. After all, the very fact that a blog company had the wherewithal to acquire a print magazine tells us how much of an influence blogging now exerts on the media market in general—let alone the fact that Spin’s online traffic has been growing while its publication has been shrinking. Buzzmedia alone boasts monthly traffic of over 120 million on its dozens of websites, and its acquisition of Spin puts its music-related content in the same league with major players like MTV and Rolling Stone. There can be no denying that the Internet is having a profound effect not only on the way we access music, but the ways we learn about it and talk about it, as well.
Will Buzzmedia’s purchase of Spin result in an ultimate expansion for the magazine, or will it signify the end of an era? Only time will tell—but I have a sneaking suspicion that before too long all of Spin’s loyal readers will be accessing the content from their computers, rather than the newsstands.