NME going free to halt decline

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Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Long-running music magazine NME is going to be made available for free later this year in a bid to stem its falling readership.

The weekly, formally known as the New Musical Express, was launched in 1952.

Its editor Mike Williams said the move, which will see more than 300,000 copies handed out at stations and universities, would transform the magazine.

Mr Williams said: ” NME is already a major player and massive influencer in the music space, but with this transformation we’ll be bigger, stronger and more influential than ever before.

“Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future. That doesn’t mean leaving print behind, but it does mean that print has to change, so I’m incredibly excited by the role it will now play as part of the new NME.

“The future is an exciting place, and NME just kicked the door down.”

The free magazine will launch on September 18.

Publisher Time Inc said music would stay “at the heart of the brand”, but the magazine would also cover ” film, fashion, television, politics, gaming and technology”.

Time Inc boss Marcus Rich said: ” This famous 63-year-old brand was an early leader in digital and has been growing its global audience successfully for the best part of 20 years.

“It has been able to do so because music is such an important passion and now is the right time to invest in bringing NME to an even bigger community for our commercial partners.”

The magazine’s paid-for circulation, reportedly around the 15,000 mark, is a far cry from its 1960s heyday when it sold in six figures and shared the market with now-defunct rivals such as Sounds and Melody Maker.

In the 1960s it was an essential part of the pop landscape, promoting acts including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and featuring them in the line-ups of its famous NME Poll Winners Concerts.

A decade later, it embraced the punk revolution and launched the careers of writers including J ulie Burchill and Tony Parsons.

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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