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SPIN Magazine ceases publication

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As Lawrence English puts it on Facebook:  “And so the attrition really begins”…

An important message for SPIN subscribers

Dear SPIN subscriber:

Please be advised that SPIN magazine ceased publication after the September/October 2012 issue.

We’re writing to share some good news! Special arrangements have been made with Car And Driver magazine to service your subscription for its full remaining term. You will receive on issue of Car And Driver for every issue remaining on your SPIN magazine subscription.

Your issue of Car And Driver is enclosed. I know we can’t replace the insight and passion that SPIN delivered to new-music lovers. But we can promise that Car And Driver will provide the same insight and passion for cars. Our approach, our worldview, our love of the subject – all that is shared between these two titles…

(Letter from subscription department of Car And Driver magazine, courtesy of The Daily Swarm)

Why stop at cars? Why not offer subscriptions to Fence Fanciers Gazette or Weasels Worldwide?

Here’s a slightly more sensitive announcement:

Following the September/October issue, SPIN has halted publication of our print edition to invest more deeply in our digital properties, including SPIN.com, SPIN Play for iPad, and SPIN mobile. SPIN has been a pioneer in music journalism since 1985 and we hope you’ll continue to enjoy our leading editorial, photographic, and multi-media content online. Special arrangements have been made with alternative publishers to fulfill your SPIN print subscription for the remaining term: you will automatically receive your new magazine in the mail, with the option to ask for a full refund. We appreciate your patience during the transition of your subscription.

Best, SPIN

Christopher R. Weingarten, senior editor of SPIN, writes:

Right now SPIN is focusing on writing on the internet, a place that, it should go without saying, is where exponentially more people are reading and engaging with music writing. Our current online game is the strongest it’s ever been, and there’s a ton of features/reviews/think-pieces as good as anything we’ve ever run in a print magazine that prove my point.

However nothing — I repeat, nothing — has changed from what we said back in July. Everyone here loves the print medium, obviously, and we consider our print game “on pause” until we find the right model that fits us in the internet era. Everyone here loves making magazines. I love making magazines. We have a shit-ton of ideas, but right now we’re focusing on the internet, which is place so fun and engaging that you’re using it RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.

Leaving aside petty vendettas for a moment, this is sad news indeed. Bangs knows, I’ve had my differences with the American approach to music criticism over the years, but I really did get the impression that folk like Christopher R. (and writers like my old mucker Jessica Hopper) were giving SPIN a bloody good go in recent months. Nothing wrong with fashioning new forms of music criticism on the web, of course – far from it (you can still read the online version of SPIN here) – but fundamentally I don’t disagree with anything Chris says above. “Everyone here loves making magazines. I love making magazines. We have a shit-ton of ideas, but right now we’re focusing on the internet…”

Relevant posts:
Why. Music. Criticism. Still. Matters. (So. Go. Fuck. Yourselves. Spin Magazine.)
Another day, another article about the death of the music magazine
Is The Music Magazine Dead? After Sale, Spin Is Endangered
SPIN Reinvents the Album Review: Introducing @SPINReviews
Why I Still Write About Music
Spin Magazine Halts Print Publication
BuzzMedia: Defining Culture. Addicting Audiences.

Shouldn’t that last phrase read, “BuzzMedia: Defining Culture. Alienating Audiences”?

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