Aol is shutting down many of the editorial units of Aol Music, which offers an array of music-related services. Employees of some of the music publications under the Aol Music umbrella have posted to Twitter that the entire division is shutting down, and Aol Radio, which will continue to operate, has issued an informal goodbye on Twitter to several Aol Music components.
We have contacted Aol for comment but haven't heard back yet.
"Hey guys," began a tweet from Spinner.com, an Aol-owned music and entertainment news site. "Just found out from Aol that we're shutting down. Today is our last day. Seriously."
"We all just got laid off," wrote Dan Reilly, Spinner's editor. "Aol Music is finished."
Aol's music services have been on the periphery of the digital music sector for a long time. Aol's radio offering is powered by Slacker rather than an in-house service, and Aol doesn't license or sell any songs itself. Before today, the division provided music videos, some new music sampling, and music news. In the recent past, record industry execs have said that Aol Music was marginally helpful in promoting new music.
Lynne informed them that the unit was underperforming and it was her job to cut underperforming units
One of the laid-off workers, in an interview with The Verge, said employees from Spinner.com, as well as the other editorial units mentioned above, met with Susan Lyne, the Brand Group CEO hired by Aol in March. Lynne informed them that the unit was underperforming and it was her job to cut underperforming units. According to the worker, who asked to remain anonymous, rumors had circulated for months that Aol was reviewing the division. "Everybody was working really hard," they said, to generate traffic.
Update: Aol Radio, which is part of Aol Music, posted a note on Twitter that the unit will continue to operate.