Pitchfork (website)

Pitchfork logo.svg
Pitchfork.com screenshot.png
Screenshot of Pitchfork's homepage
Type of site
Online music magazine
Available inEnglish
Alexa rankIncrease 2,467 (June 2019)[1]
Launched1995; 24 years ago (1995) (as Turntable)
Current statusActive

Pitchfork is an American online magazine launched in 1995 by Ryan Schreiber, based in Chicago, Illinois, and owned by Condé Nast. Being developed during Schreiber's tenure in a record store at the time, the magazine developed a reputation for its extensive focus on independent music, but has since expanded to a variety of coverage on both indie and popular music.[2]

The site generally concentrates on new music, but Pitchfork journalists have also reviewed reissues and box sets. Since 2016, it publishes retrospective reviews of classic or otherwise important albums every Sunday. The site has also published "best-of" lists – such as the best albums of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and the best songs of the 1960s – as well as annual features detailing the best albums and tracks of each year since 1999 (and a retrospective Best Albums of 1998 list in 2018).

By the end of 2019, Pitchfork will be put behind a paywall.[3]


Previous Pitchfork logo

In late 1995, Ryan Schreiber, a recent high school graduate, created the magazine in Minneapolis. Influenced by local fanzines and KUOM, Schreiber, who had no previous writing experience, aimed to provide the Internet with a regularly updated resource for independent music. Initially called Turntable, the site was updated monthly with interviews and reviews. In May 1996, the site began publishing daily and was renamed Pitchfork, alluding to Tony Montana's tattoo in Scarface.[4]

In early 1999, Schreiber relocated Pitchfork to Chicago, Illinois. By then, the site had expanded to four full-length album reviews daily, as well as sporadic interviews, features, and columns. It had also begun garnering a following for its extensive coverage of underground music and its writing style, which was often unhindered by the conventions of journalism. In October, the site added a daily music news section.[citation needed]

Pitchfork has launched a variety of subsidiary websites. Pitchfork.tv, a website displaying videos related to many independent music acts, launched in April 2008. It features bands that are typically found on Pitchfork .[Altered Zones, a blog aggregator devoted to underground and do it yourself music.[5] On 21 May 2011, Pitchfork announced a partnership with Kill Screen, in which Pitchfork would publish some of their articles.[6] Altered Zones was closed on November 30.[7] On December 26, 2012, Pitchfork launched Nothing Major, a website that covered visual arts such as fine art and photography.[8] Nothing Major closed in October 2013.[9] On October 13, 2015, Condé Nast announced that it had acquired Pitchfork.[10] Following the sale, Schreiber remained as editor-in-chief.[11]

On March 13, 2016, Pitchfork was redesigned. According to an announcement post during the redesign, they said:[12]

In August 2018, Pitchfork's longtime executive editor Mark Richardson stepped down. He began writing for the site in 1998[13] and was employed full-time in 2007.[14]

On September 18, 2018, founder Ryan Schreiber stepped down as the site's top editor. He was replaced by Puja Patel as editor-in-chief on October 15, 2018.[15]

On January 8, 2019, Schreiber announced he would be exiting the company.[16]

In January 2019, Condé Nast announced it will put all its titles behind a paywall by the end of the year, including Pitchfork.[3]

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