British music magazine NME is to cease publication in print after 66 years, it was announced today.
Time Inc UK, the magazine’s owner, said in a statement that it was “no longer financially viable” to run a weekly print edition of the iconic music publication due to rising production costs and a “tough” advertising market.
“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.” Paul Cheal, Time Inc. UK’s Group Managing Director, Music, said.
“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.”
NME, short for New Musical Express, first launched in March, 1952.
The first publication of it’s kind in Britain, NME started out as a music newspaper before gradually moving towards a more traditional magazine format during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Famous for its dedication to championing new artists and it’s ability to stay ahead of the curve, NME has interviewed some of the biggest names in music over the past 60 years and seen stars such as The Beatles, David Bowie, Madonna, Oasis, the Spice Girls, Amy Winehouse, Jake Bugg and Dua Lipa grace its front cover.
An online version of NME, NME.com, was launched in 1996 and became the world’s biggest standalone music site, with over seven million users per month.
As of today the NME brand has a social media reach of 200 million a month.
Due to consumer changes, NME Magazine was relaunched as a nationally distributed free publication in September 2015.
The first circulation figures published in February 2016 of 307, 217 copies per week were the highest in the brand’s history, beating the previous best of 306,881, recorded in 1964 at the height of The Beatles’ fame.
Many artists who featured in NME over the years have taken to social media to pay tribute to the publications contribution to the music industry.
Check out tweets from The Libertines, Paul Weller, Kasabian and more below:
Very sorry to hear about the @NME issuing its last print edition. Love to all the writers there who’ve helped us over the years, and to all of you that picked up a copy. Blessed to have had you in our corner. pic.twitter.com/EzZ7cvCaYQ
— Libertines (@libertines) March 7, 2018
A truly sad day that such an icon is no more. Thank you for the memories. They're gonna miss you when you're gone. RIP NME. pic.twitter.com/NWUddsg1iV
— KasabianHQ (@KasabianHQ) March 7, 2018
RIP @NME I still remember the feeling of our band first being mentioned in your hallowed pages. (And have a copy of every time we’ve been in it) Blessed to have been part of that historic magazine. ? pic.twitter.com/9oOISRSwDL
— Slaves (@Slaves) March 7, 2018
RIP NME pic.twitter.com/RqZ8iRhuR3
— Paul Weller (@paulwellerHQ) March 7, 2018
RIP NME – my favourite cover from 2001. pic.twitter.com/nwI7qGGVLo
— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) March 7, 2018
Farewell @NME. You were once my bible, gave me moments with my heroes, turned music into words of grandeur, gave me identity, a flag to carry. In the 80s I made out I hated you but was thrilled when I made the cover. The inky press are dead I said, but now you really are I’m sad pic.twitter.com/NV10M52OZL
— Gary Kemp (@garyjkemp) March 7, 2018
in print pic.twitter.com/njmWwLHMoE
— The Charlatans (@thecharlatans) March 7, 2018
RIP physical NME. Long may your digital soul flourish. Thanks for the memories… pic.twitter.com/MW4h1dM28c
— The WOMBATS (@thewombats) March 7, 2018
The final edition of NME will be released this Friday, March 9th.
Let us know your favourite NME memories over on Twitter @Fuzzable now.