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The Day AOL Music Died

Internet media company pulls plug on AOL Music and other sites, according to employee tweets

AOL is shutting down AOL Music and several other music news and video websites, according to employee tweets Friday.

Move to shutter music sites shows the company is refocusing on higher-growth areas — including original video content, which will be on display at AOL’s Digital Content NewFront presentation next week.

As of Saturday morning, the company had not issued a statement on the actions and had not responded to a request for information. It’s unclear how many employees were affected.

“Well, we all just got laid off. AOL Music is finished,” Spinner editor Dan Reilly tweeted.

AOL Radio, which streams more than 200 music stations online, sent condolences to colleagues about the shutdowns, and indicated that other AOL music sites The Boot, Noisecreep  and The Boombox are also getting the axe. It said in a later tweet that AOL Radio will remain.

Meanwhile, the official AOL Music twitter feed did not signal that anything was amiss, sending out promotional tweets Friday evening.

On its corporate information site, AOL describes AOL Music as “one of the leading music sites on the Web” that “provides the latest videos news and more for fans of every genre.” Spinner focused on “indie buzz bands, classic rock legends, soul crooners and dance floor DJs.”

In July 2012, AOL Music attracted more than 25 million unique visitors monthly, who watched 7.4 million videos, according to comScore data cited on the company’s corporate website.

In a separate development, Internet publisher SpinMedia (formerly known as Buzzmedia) on Thursday announced acquisition of Vibe Media and said it would shut down the print version of the R&B and hip-hop magazine. Buzzmedia acquired Spin last year and later folded that mag, too, while preserving the website.

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