Condé Nast buys indie music website Pitchfork

October 14 08:51 2015

Condé Nast said Tuesday it has acquired Pitchfork Media, adding to its large magazine portfolio the iconic online publication that ushered indie music into the mainstream. For Condé Nast, the deal brings a credible, established brand to a coverage area that it has lacked – popular music. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“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,” Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg said in a statement. Founded in 1995 by Ryan Schreiber, Pitchfork grew from a lean music blog into one of today’s most influential culture publications, tracking the rise of independent music as the genre became enveloped into mainstream culture.

In the mid-2000s, the site became known as a tastemaker for indie music. As the Internet blossomed as a distribution method for young bands, Pitchfork became a resource for curious listeners, informing its devoted base of readers which up-and-coming artists were, and weren’t, worth their attention. The best example of Pitchfork’s star-making power is Arcade Fire, the Montreal indie rock band that rose to mainstream success and a 2011 Album of the Year Grammy win with the help of Pitchfork’s positive coverage at the outset.

Like Arcade Fire’s journey from dingy rock clubs to the Grammy’s stage, Pitchfork has evolved over its 20-year lifespan from an indie darling to a mainstream music site, reviewing albums by such artists as Kanye West and Taylor Swift while continuing to spotlight niche artists, to whom a positive Pitchfork r