SpinMedia announced Thursday that they had purchased the rights to Vibe magazine and its related websites including Vibe.com and Vibevixen.com. SpinMedia’s spokesman indicated that they do not plan to continue the print edition of Vibe. They do plan to continue publishing Vibe digitally online.
The purchase of Vibe by SpinMedia brings the two publications back under the same ownership. SpinMedia was originally named Spin magazine. Both Vibe and Spin were owned by Vibe/Spin Media until last year when, after both publications underwent a series of changes sales, BuzzMedia took ownership of Spin and its related websites. BuzzMedia discontinued the print edition of Spin and changed the name BuzzMedia to SpinMedia. Since that time, traffic to SpinMedia’s website has doubled.
In print for 21 years, Vibe magazine has published information related to the R&B and hip-hop music culture while SpinMedia caters to pop culture fans. Steve Hansen, SpinMedia’s chief executive, indicated that they are excited to add Vibe to their collection of music properties. SpinMedia currently has over 40 music websites including Celebuzz and JustJared that it either owns or represents.
Quincy Jones founded Vibe in 1992. While it quickly became an influential magazine in the R&B and hip-hop culture, Vibe was shut down in 2009 after the loss of a large amount of its advertising revenue. Within months of closing its doors, Vibe was purchased by private investors and revived. The Alliance for Audited Media indicated that in the first half of 2012, Vibe had a circulation of approximately 301,000. Spin Media reported that Vibe's websites average 1.4 million visitors each month.
According to the CEO of Vibe Media, Ari Horowitz, Vibe will do better by being a part of SpinMedia’s portfolio of websites because it will have the ability to "leverage infrastructure". He stated that the ability to leverage along with really good brands is the way to come out on top in the digital media business. Horowitz indicated that his job was to turn Vibe digital.
A spokesman for SpinMedia stated that they might revisit the print options for Vibe at a later day, but currently have no plans to produce a printed version.