AOL has been stepping up its online music efforts lately, and last week it rebranded its indie offerings under the spinner.com umbrella. When we first heard this news, we thought something sounded familiar–and a pal who surivived the first dot-com shakeout reminded us that back in the day, spinner.com was an online music service offering downloads and streaming radio, and it was snapped up by AOL in 1999 as part of the NullSoft/WinAmp buyout. The price for that package? A cool $400 million. Spinner chugged along for a while until it was folded into AOL’s attempts to revive the Netscape brand (ah, the old days), and the domain name had been dormant since 2002.
So what’s the payoff for AOL’s investment? A Stereogummed-up MP3 blog, some live sessions, a “comedian”-hosted rehash of last week’s jokes, and some streaming radio stations. And one bit of idle speculation on our part: The folks at Spin.com are probably more than a little peeved about this new kid on the block’s branding.