NME to end its regular print edition after over 60 years

Music magazine’s publishers say ‘tough’ advertising market has contributed to the move

The cover of the NME following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994.

The cover of the NME following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994.

 

NME, one of the world’s most famous music magazines, is ceasing its weekly print edition.

Publishers said the magazine would release its final print edition on Friday, citing rising production costs and a “tough” advertising market.

The magazine will be “focusing investment on further expanding NME’s digital audience”, its owners, Time Inc, said.

The magazine, which launched in 1952, went free in September 2015.

Paul Cheal, Time Inc UK group managing director for innovation, 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 reinvention 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.”

The publishers said NME would continue releasing special issues in print.

The development comes at a tumultuous time in the magazine world, with Glamour announcing it would be printing a paper magazine only twice a year, while its online site would focus on beauty.

New services

NME said new services, as part of its digital extension, would include new music channels and a weekly online franchise, The Big Read, that would replace the weekly cover star interview.

Keith Walker, digital director of NME, 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.” – PA