Condé Nast Acquires Online Music Magazine Pitchfork

Last week Condé Nast announced its acquisition of Pitchfork Media, a Chicago-based, online music magazine. Primarily known for its popular glossy magazines, Condé Nast reaches 120 million consumers with titles that include Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, GQ, The New Yorker, and Wired. In 2011, the company launched an entertainment division to develop film, TV and premium digital video content.The acquisition of Pitchfork, which takes effect immediately, adds an independent music publication to Condé Nast’s stable of media outlets.

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   “Pitchfork is a distinguished digital property that brings a strong editorial voice, an enthusiastic and young audience, a growing video platform and a thriving events business,” said Bob Sauerberg, CEO and resident of Condé Nast. “We look forward to bringing Pitchfork to the network of best-in-class brands of Condé Nast.”

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   Ryan Schreiber, founder and CEO of Pitchfork, also spoke about the sale.”Pitchfork is incredibly fortunate to have found in Condé Nast a team of people who share our commitment to editorial excellence. Their belief in what we do, combined with their additional expertise and resources, will allow us to extend our coverage of the artists and stories that shape the music landscape on every platform. We’re honored to become part of their family,” said Schreiber.Pitchfork was founded in 1996, quickly becoming a trusted source for music fans to discover independent and emerging music from different genres. In addition to the online magazine, Pitchfork publishes a quarterly print magazine, offers an extensive library of videos via Pitchfork.tv, and hosts festivals in Chicago and Paris. According to Condé Nast, Pitchfork.com draws more than 6 million unique visitors every month, and it has a social media following of more than 4 million.According to the New York Times, Sauerberg told staff in an email announcement that the acquisition is part of the company’s commitment to building a “premium digital network, focusing on distinctive editorial voices and engaging high-value millennial audiences.”In a TechCrunch article about the purchase, Fred Santarpia, chief digital officer at Condé Nast, said the two companies are a good match culturally, and he sees “significant business opportunities” for Condé Nast to work with Pitchfork. He does not anticipate major editorial changes, and Condé Nast will retain the leadership team of Ryan Schrieber, CEO, and Chris Kaskie, president.Insider Take:This corporate marriage has potential to benefit both companies. Pitchfork can benefit from Condé Nast’s considerable reach, reputation, resources and experience, while Condé Nast can gain access to a younger audience and learn from Pitchfork’s successful video offerings and profitable music festivals.This assumes, of course, that Condé Nast allows the Pitchfork Media team to retain its editorial independence, as it has said, and that Pitchfork was paid well for its tangible and intangible assets. Neither party has disclosed the terms of the agreement.~ Dana E. Neuts, Subscription Insider