TOLDJA™: BuzzMedia rebrands as SpinMedia, announces $15 million in further funding

By Michael Carney , written on March 25, 2013

From The News Desk

As we predicted nearly a month ago to the day, BuzzMedia has rebranded itself, taking the name of one of its more prominent online publications. The online entertainment publisher will now be known as SpinMedia.

“[The] new company name celebrates SPIN and its enduring promise to be intelligent, upbeat, daring, restless, insatiably curious, romantic, irreverent, and, above all, obsessed with pop culture,” the company wrote in a press release announcing the change. The name should also give it a bit of temporary hype, similar to what a Vegas club gets when relaunching every 18 months.

Along with the new name, SpinMedia debuted a new parent company site design and “editorial vision,” according to the release, which also threw around the obligatory buzzwords, “digitally native” and “mobile-first.” Expect the new edgy, rock and roll feel to quickly trickle down through SpinMedia’s more than 45 publications, including the more well known SPIN and Celebuzz.

SpinMedia is three months into the tenure of newly-promoted CEO Stephen Hansen. In his first significant shakeup, Hansen led a rightsizing of the staff by laying off 50 of the company’s then 250 employees just two months into his tenure. Today, in conjunction with today’s rebranding announcement, Hansen followed through on commitment he made to employees when taking the new role, by revealing $15 million in new funding.

At this point, investors in the new round are unknown. The company has reported $43 million in funding to date, from Redpoint Ventures, Anthem Venture Partners, and Interscope records, but industry sources suggest that this figure is likely higher.

The new SpinMedia site boasts 73 million unique visitors across the company’s three verticals, SpinMedia, SpinEntertainment, and SpinMusic, and 140 million combined social followers. Needless to say, the reach is significant.

If you’re wondering what type of business this audience equates to, former CEO and current Executive Chairman Tyler Goldman previously predicted that the company would generate $50 million in sales in 2012. Hansen hints at plans to increase this figure with “unique advertiser integrations ... [that] ... connect with consumers online and offline,” while offering little detail as to what this actually implies.

SpinMedia’s focus on pop culture, music, and celebrity places it in several of the most popular content categories online. Unfortunately, their audiences are also some of the most fickle. The new name and new site design should give the brand a brief lift. Whether it will make a difference long term will be determined more by the quality of its content. The additional dollars to spend should come in handy in this regard.

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