Billboard Buys Spin and Vibe in a Quest to ‘Own the Topic of Music Online’

Digital publications will reach 45 million readers

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The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is acquiring the music assets of SpinMedia, including Spin, Vibe and Stereogum, expanding Billboard's reach into the music news world.

"In recent years, we set out to own the topic of music online, and the acquisition of these incredible music assets helps us do just that," said Media Group co-president John Amato, adding that the deal is meant to "fully capture the value of millennials and music."

Once closed, the combined entity will reach 45 million monthly unique visitors. SpinMedia CEO Stephen Blackwell will be named chief strategy officer and report to Amato.

"Bringing in these historic brands under Billboard gives us the chance to serve passionate music audiences from rock to urban to pop in one massive portfolio," said Media Group co-president Janice Min.

A transaction price was not revealed.

Spin magazine was founded in 1985 by Bob Guccione Jr. Guccione sold the magazine in 1997 to Miller Publishing, which sold the title in 2006 to an entity that became Spin Media LLC, which in turn sold to Buzzmedia in 2012. The publication went fully digital later that year. SpinMedia, as it was then known, acquired Vibe in 2013. Vibe was founded by Quincy Jones 20 years earlier, and it's print product was shuttered in 2014.

SpinMedia also includes the sites Celebuzz, The Playlist and The Frisky, which had been posting stories as of this morning. It's not known what will become of those sites.

@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.