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Exclusive: Spin magazine returns to print

May 28, 2024
Photo illustration of Bob Guccione Jr. surrounded by abstract shapes and an image of a printing plant.

Bob Guccione Jr. Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Liz Lentini

Spin, the storied music outlet, is preparing to release its first print magazine since 2012, founder Bob Guccione Jr. exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: The private equity-backed move is an effort to revitalize the media brand and comes amid a broader return to print by legacy publishers.

Catch up quick: Launched in 1985, Spin rose to prominence with its iconic covers along with stories of new artists and cultural issues.

  • Guccione sold Spin in 1997, and the outlet continued to change hands. The current owner, Next Management Partners, is a private equity firm based in Santa Monica, California, and founded in 2018. CEO Jimmy Hutcheson recruited Guccione back to Spin in 2020.

Zoom in: The first print issue will drop Aug. 29 and be available at retailers, independent record stores and airports for $9.99.

  • Guccione says the magazine will feature an interview with an FBI fugitive, an article by Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery, and a "mind-blowing" photo essay. He also interviewed Bill Maher.
  • Guccione says he line edited the first edition.
  • "It has to be the best it can be," he says. "Not that I think I'm the only editor that's very good. But I did create the magazine, and I did create this relaunch issue, so I want to make sure it has the tone and the sharpness that I'm looking for."

Between the lines: Guccione says the first print issue will not be profitable. But the company plans to make print profitable by building out a subscription business and growing advertising revenue.

  • "We're here to make this a real magazine. It's not just, 'Oh, this is a trend,'" Guccione says. "I don't see myself editing it forever, but I'm really proud to be kickstarting it."
  • Spin plans to produce quarterly print editions, including a 40th anniversary issue in March 2025.

Zoom out: Spin has been working to grow revenue by broadening the business into a larger entertainment company. That includes managing music tech incubator Spin Labs, Spin Records, Spin Films and Spin Podcasts and producing concerts and events at Coachella, SXSW and Art Basel.

  • Spin also collaborated on Spin t-shirts for Urban Outfitters and launched a streaming channel on Amazon's Freevee.
  • The company declined to disclose its revenue. It has 100 employees.
  • "I've always described Spin as being not a music magazine but a magazine for young people crossing the threshold from adolescence to adulthood," Guccione says.
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