After 66 years in print, NME will cease to produce its weekly magazine after Time Inc. announced today that it had pulled production.
An official statement made by Time Inc publishers read, “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 era defining music magazine first went to print as New Musical Express in 1952 before launching its weekly free edition in September 2015.
Time Inc UK ‘s group managing director, 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.”
In conjunction with the statement that NME would cease to exist in print – apart from very occasional specials editions and an exclusive paid-for series – Time Inc has announced that it will launch new digital services to complement the longstanding website.
As reported in Music Business Worldwide, Digital director of NME, 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.”
NME’s influence across the UK's musical landscape has been unmistakeable over the decades, viewed by many as the cornerstone of British “indie” music and Britpop among other genres.