I've been going online for my daily (hourly?) dose of music since since about 1996. I constantly surfed through a dozen or so sites, trolling for information that I could use on my radio shows. More often than not, I was able to stay ahead of the mainstream music news cycles.
But then came the Dot-com burst and a lot of these sites--funded by stupid amounts of money--suddenly disappeared. It took a while for that whole sector to rebuild itself.
The last five years have been great for those looking for music news/reviews/recommendations online. But it looks like we're hitting another rough patch as money once again runs dry. Two things caught my attention:
1. SpinMedia: They own or sell advertising for Spin, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Absolute Punk and others. They have apparently run out of cash and layoffs have begun.
2. Slacker: Not a music news site, but the streaming music service (a good place to discover new music) is seeing layoffs, too.
I have a feeling that we're heading towards a big housecleaning/consolidation in the online music space as the big boys (Google/YouTube, Apple, Pandora, Amazon, etc.) exert more muscle.