While there’s more demand than ever for music news, being a music journalist–someone who is actually paid to source stories, do interviews and write serious, thoughtful, informative pieces about what’s happening–is really, really hard. While people want your stuff, almost no one is prepared to pay decent money for it–if they pay at all. (There are exceptions, but there aren’t many. Trust me on this.)
There are organizations who pride themselves in being solid conduits for music journalism, but they’re having a tougher and tougher time paying the bills–and their writers.
SpinMedia, the website spun from the ashes of Spin Magazine, is in trouble again. After going into default with its bank–they were $12 million in the red–the company tried to find another buyer. With no takers, SpinMedia is now in liquidation, which is a way of avoiding filing for bankruptcy under California law.
The newly reorganized company, Spin Media Group, will essentially be run by Silicon Valley Bank. The good news is that SpinMedia has rehired just about all of Spin’s former employees. Other sites under the same ownership include Celebuzz, Buzznet, Idolator and The Superficial.
Add this to the continue fall in circulation for magazines like Rolling Stone and all the great British music magazines and we have a very big problem. How will professional music journalism survive?