‘Spin’ Magazine Going Bimonthly

Title also cutting rate base, increasing Web focus

Spin is making the move from monthly to bimonthly—it will publish only six issues next year, down from 11 this year, Adweek has learned. The magazine also plans to cut its rate base to 350,000 from 450,000, an acknowledgment that the Web is replacing print for its mainly young, male readership.

Spin will publish its fewer magazines on bigger, heavier paper stock, a step other magazines have taken to emphasize the qualities of print in a competitive ad market. Each issue of Spin will carry a theme, continuing a practice that began this year, with issues devoted to topics like style and dance.

“It’s . . . [putting] ideas first, and using artists that are emblematic of that trend or movement,” said Mike Albanese, Spin’s publisher.

Founded in 1985 by Bob Guccione Jr. to cover alternative music, Spin was bought in 2006 by the McEvoy Group in San Francisco, which also owns Chronicle Books. In June, it shook up its leadership, replacing publisher Malcolm Campbell with Albanese and editor Doug Brod with Steve Kandell.

Spin is part of a thinning magazine category that’s recently lost two strong brands, Paste and Blender. At Spin itself, ad pages have plunged 35 percent in the past three years, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

Alan Nichols, CEO of Spin Media, said the frequency reduction would save some money, but that the decision was more about responding to changing reader habits than cutting costs. He said the magazine is profitable, although he declined to give specifics.

“It’s right-sizing for print,” he said.

Nichols and Albanese also hope the bigger trim size will open the door to new advertisers.

"We have a great audience story for almost all fashion and apparel," Albanese said. "There's a larger canvas to showcase style and photography."

While cutting back on print, Spin has been ramping up digitally. Earlier this year, it introduced a $1.99 iPad app called Spin Play, featuring a streaming playlist. In 2012, it plans to redesign Spin.com with a greater focus on reviews, blogs, and news.

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