Just over a week since announcing a sale to private equity, Time Inc UK has announced the closure of the print edition of NME.
The weekly British music magazine launched 66 years ago with sales peaking over 300,000 in the 60s as The Beatles and Rolling Stones topped the charts. The magazine was a must-read in the 70s and 80s for music fans as four British music weeklies – Sounds, Melody Maker and Record Mirror were the others – battled for stories and readers.
Some Australian specialist retailers used to air freight the British music press in weekly for music fans who used to gather in stores waiting for their arrival.
The brand won’t disappear though as NME will continue to service its digital audience. A statement from Time Inc UK noted:
As part of NME’s digital expansion, it is launching a number of new services. NME Audio, comprising two new music channels NME 1 and NME 2, is available on Regional DAB, the TuneIn App and on nme.com. NME 1 will champion new talent on NME’s radar and NME 2 will feature a range of artists and NME classics.
In addition, a new weekly franchise, The Big Read, is to launch on nme.com, replacing the weekly cover star interview. This in-depth feature will also be the lead item in a weekly curation of nme.com’s biggest stories available in the App Store.
NME will continue to publish special issues in print, such as its new paid-for series NME Gold. The second in the series featuring Paul Weller is available on the newsstand now and further issues of NME Gold are planned for 2018. NME will also be exploring other opportunities to bring its best-in-class music journalism to market in print.
The final print issue of NME will be published on Friday March 9.
Pictured above: The first and most recent (March 2, 2018) issues of NME