NME have announced that they will print their last ever magazine this Friday after 66 years in making music news.
66 years after it’s launch in 1952 NME will stop publishing their magazine after this week, owners Time Inc have said. The music news publication moved to a free publication in 2015 and now will move entirely online with no print edition.
Time Inc. confirmed the news in a statement reading: “NME’s free weekly print magazine will cease publication. This week’s issue of the magazine out on Friday will be the final free print edition.” The magazine moved to a free format to hand out to the public after its sales circulation declined to just 15,000. After going free their ad-funded publication saw a circulation of 300,000 upon launch but it wasn’t enough to sustain print-copy in an evermore digital world.
Time Inc. UK’s managing director of music, Paul Cheal said: “NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on nme.com. The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of.
“At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”
Whilst the British magazine will be closing its doors Time have said that they’ll be launching new digital services to enhance and expand upon the NME website. This will included NME Audio which will see the creation of two stations on DAB radio. NME 1 will be the home of new talent whilst NME 2 will be more broad and include ‘NME Classics’.
In addition NME will occasionally release special edition print issues for it’s paid series NME Gold. These limited edition runs will more sustainable offer a classic print format for artists who want to see themselves in a magazine and fans who want that physical feel.
NME’s digital director, Keith Walker said: “NME has been at the digital forefront for more than two decades. Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years. With these new developments, we are giving consumers even more of what they want from us. By making the digital platforms our core focus we can accelerate the amazing growth we’ve seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they’re most naturally using.”