After a few weeks of speculation and rumors, Spin Media was acquired today by Buzzmedia, a rapidly growing collection of celebrity and music websites.
The deal adds a legacy property to Buzzmedia's list of popular—but young—music sites like Idolator and Stereogum, as well as a series of celebrity-oriented sites like Just Jared and Celebuzz. For Spin, a fresh digital strategy may save the revered music brand.
While Buzzmedia has plans to continue to push and develop Spin's digital side, the future of Spin's iconic print edition is still up in the air. While Buzzmedia CEO Tyler Goldman did not speak directly to the print plans, he told Adweek that "we look at Spin as a great media company that focuses on storytelling. The digital side right now is about three times larger than print and we believe we can grow digital by orders of magnitude."
Perhaps the biggest challenge going ahead will be keeping Spin's loyal readers coming back. Though Buzzmedia has some highly respected music brands, Spin purists might be put off by some of the more gossipy, celebrity-focused Buzzmedia properties. Goldman insists however, that the plan will be to preserve Spin, with an emphasis on digital. "They have reason to be very protective," he said. "We are a corporate parent and the idea is not to make Spin a Buzzmedia business, but to really grow Spin. This is not about changing the direction of the magazine but accelerating the plan Spin already had for digital."
In an evolving digital space, the move will allow Spin access to a wider range of advertising and may very well be the only way for struggling print properties to move forward. In a joint statement, Spin Media CEO Alan Nichols notes that Spin's readers have migrated online. "This deal greatly accelerates our digital transition, enabling us to not only tap into Buzzmedia's digital audience of 120 million unique monthly visitors, but also its ability to foster original, authentic and insightful voices in a digital world."