First there was Rolling Stone serving as the music journalism voice of a generation. Then there was Spin. And now there’s Pitchfork.
It’s why Condé Nast’s purchase of Chicago’s Pitchfork Media is probably a smart move.
“In my opinion, it took the mantle from Rolling Stone,” Joe Shanahan, a prominent club owner and music entrepreneur in Chicago, told Poynter. “What Rolling Stone was to our generation, Pitchfork is to a new generation. It’s sort of like you had Rolling Stone, then Spin, then Pitchfork.”
“Their way of reviewing records way under the radar, as well as things over the radar, is part of their growth,” he said. “It’s a very important tool for my company. I’m there two, three times a day. Their news bulletins, reviews, I follow. I used to follow Spin and Rolling Stone but rarely go to them anymore. I like Pitchfork’s way of reviewing, their journalists.”
As Crain’s Chicago Business underscored, “Pitchfork.com attracted nearly 3 million unique visitors in August, up 20 percent from the month a year earlier, according to ComScore. RollingStone.com drew 16.1 million, by comparison, while The Fader got 976,000.”
Pitchfork was founded in Chicago in 1995 by Ryan Schreiber and has “evolved from the leading source of independent music news to the go-to platform for both popular and indie music journalism.”
No surprise, early social media response was mixed, with claims of selling out to a mainstream giant, even somehow undermining females and gays by potentially catering to “millennial males.”