Conde Nast Buys Pitchfork, Indie-Minded Music Website

GQ and Vogue Gain a Cool Digital Sibling

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The combination of an influential but independent-minded music site, Pitchfork, with Conde Nast's aspirational and consumerist titles drew some strong reactions.
The combination of an influential but independent-minded music site, Pitchfork, with Conde Nast's aspirational and consumerist titles drew some strong reactions.

Conde Nast, the owner of magazine brands such as Vogue and The New Yorker, has acquired Pitchfork Media, one of the most influential sources for music news and reviews online.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and a Conde Nast spokesman declined to discuss them.

"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," Conde Nast President-CEO Bob Sauergberg said in a statement.

Pitchfork will report to Conde Nast Chief Digital Officer Fred Santarpia, but details of how the acquisition will be integrated, such as whether Pitchfork will fall under the editorial purview of Conde Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour, are still being worked out.

Pitchfork.com attracted nearly 3 million unique visitors in August, up 20% from the month a year earlier, according to ComScore. RollingStone.com drew 16.1 million, by comparison, while The Fader got 976,000.

Since its founding in 1996, Pitchfork has grown into a widely-read authority on "independent" music, with inclusion among its "Best New Music" picks highly sought-after among recording artists and their labels. Its 1-through-10 reviews have also become closely watched.

Conde Nast's GQ earlier this year introduced a music section to its website, describing the goal as providing a guide for readers who don't normally frequent sites like Pitchfork.com. "This is not a channel for music nerds," Howard Mittman, GQ's VP-publisher, said then. GQ also plans to host a Grammy party and cover it on Snapchat.

Beyond Conde Nast, Vice rolled out its "Noisey" music section in 2011, and BuzzFeed introduced a music section of its own the following year.

The combination of an indie-music website and a gleaming tower of glossy consumerism, first reported by The New York Times, immediately brought out the trolls on Twitter:

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