Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Media Buys SpinMedia Assets

The end of the year is bringing some consolidation in music and entertainment magazines, with The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group’s announcement last week that it is acquiring the publishing assets of SpinMedia, including Spin, Vibe and Stereogum. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

As part of the acquisition, SpinMedia CEO Stephen Blackwell is assuming the position of chief strategy officer at Spin.

Explaining the strategic thinking behind the deal, THR-Billboard Media Group co-president John Amato pointed to SpinMedia’s editorial strength in the fast-growing, constantly evolving world of digital music, stating: “By making these brands part of our family, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group will be able to fully capture the value of millennials and music, and continue to strengthen its leadership position in this critical arena.”

THR-Billboard co-president Janice Min emphasized the breadth of the distribution channels in the portfolio, anchored by digital: “The power and scale of these combined, complementary digital assets will deliver more ways to reach our audience through TV, video, live events, social and online through these brands.”

Altogether, the expanded publishing group’s properties reach a total online audience of 45 million readers per month, according to the company, with revenues of over $100 million – most of this derived from digital, including online video.

In September, SpinMedia sold three other properties, Idolator, Buzznet and PureVolume, to start up media company Hive Media.

Earlier this month, German publisher Hubert Burda revealed it is about to buy iconic British music mag The Radio Times and several other titles owned by publisher Immediate Media. Previously, Immediate struck a deal with BBC Magazines to buy, license or contract publish titles, including Top Gear, Top of The Pops and Match of the Day magazines in 2011.

Also in September, Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media sold a 49% stake in the magazine to BandLab Technologies, a digital music and media company based in Singapore, for an undisclosed sum.

Last year, Condé Nast acquired music review and criticism site Pitchfork Media, which also has an established events business, including annual Pitchfork Music Festivals in Chicago and Paris.

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