Has anyone else noticed how beefed up SPIN.com has become over the last year? It’s gone from a sorry excuse of a Web site to a frequently updated spot with web exclusive reviews and articles, videoclips, and mobile content. Granted, you can’t view a page on their site without being attacked by about 5 different upsell ads to the magazine, but I’ve found of late there has been some quality stuff on there. The writing is well-informed, in-depth, and timely.
That’s the good news. The bad news is, has anyone noticed how skimpy ad pages have been for recent issues of the print publication? I have no real solid data to back up what I’m about to say, but it’s almost as if the Web site grown and print magazine growth have had an inverse relationship. Their latest issue is as thin as a communion wafer. They’re starting to make an edition of the New York Press look like the September issue of Vogue. Granted, January is not known to be the high season for ad buys, but there are plenty other music magazines that have managed to pack their magazines with enough pages that there is enough width in the binding to use a font bigger than 8pts.
It makes sense for SPIN to concentrate more on their digital market–many of the bands that they currently highlight get so much coverage online that by the time the print mag comes out, their stories can sometimes read like old news. It’s hard for monthly print publications to keep up nowadays. Usually you’re writing stuff 3 months in advance…it’s hard to forecast what’s going to be hot tomorrow, let alone 16 weeks from now.
I am not by any means saying that SPIN mag should pack up the print shop, but the slim profile of the most recent issues is a bit alarming to me. This also brings up the question of whether people are more likely to pick up a hard copy of a magazine vs. finding their information online. Do you guys have a preference? What do you see as being the value/disadvantages of both mediums?
But back on the dot com–there have been some SPIN.com extras that have left me scratching my head. The recent addition of “Pixel Nation” has been one such project that has made me go “huh?” If you take a look at it, it’s basically The Cobra Snake/Last Night’s Party with of some obsessive compulsive interest in dishing out exactly what everyone is wearing and where they got it from. It’s like if Joan Rivers had an overly positive indie rock daughter who’s gone amok with a digital camera. I almost feel like I’m reading product placement after product placement (He bought this shirt at Brooklyn Industries! She got her shoes from Beacon’s Closet!) when all I want to do is look at pictures of good looking people in peace! No commentary necessary. But why the hell am I looking at party/fashion photos on SPIN.com anyway? What the hell does this have to do with the reason people come to SPIN.com–to read about music? Why the heck is this party section updated more than their music blogs? Who the heck knows?
So basically this post has no point other than print SPIN is getting skinny and Pixel Nation is confusing to me given the brand. Sleepy time.