The times, they really are a-changin’

From The Guardian:-

The NME is to cease publication in print after 66 years, the weekly music title joining a growing list of once mighty magazine brands that now only exist online.

The website will continue, replacing the print edition’s cover star interview with a new weekly digital franchise, The Big Read.

The NME will continue to keep a sporadic presence in print with special issues such as its paid-for series NME Gold, to cater for music stars’ appetite for appearing in a printed product.

In 2015, the magazine stopped being a paid title after a decade of sales declines saw its circulation drop to just 15,000. It relaunched as an ad-funded, free title with a circulation of 300,000 in a last throw of the strategic dice for the print edition.

“Our move to free print has helped propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on,” said Paul Cheal, the UK group managing director, music, at NME publisher Time Inc. “We have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

Time Inc UK is consulting with the NME’s 23 editorial and commercial staff about possible redundancies.

NME, which has been printed weekly since 1952, managed to make money as a brand overall through spin-off activities such as awards and events.

“NME will also be exploring other opportunities to bring its best-in-class music journalism to market in print,” Time Inc UK said.

The closure of the weekly comes a week after Time Inc UK, which also publishes titles including Marie Claire and Country Life, was sold to private equity group Epiris in a £130m deal.

Epiris had been expected to sell or restructure a number of titles – the company said it wanted to bring “clarity and simplicity” to the magazine portfolio – with the print edition of NME known to have been loss-making for a number of years.

“Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years,” said Keith Walker, the digital director of NME. “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.”

In October, Condé Nast, the publisher of Glamour magazine, shocked the market announcing that the UK’s 10th biggest magazine would stop printing monthly. Instead, it is focussing on a digital-first strategy with a print edition just twice a year.

It’s been a very long while since I was really interested in what the NME was saying, but there’s no denying it had a huge influence on the development and expansion of my listening habits in my formative and later years..

mp3 : Thee Headcoates – (We Hate the Fuckin’) NME


15 thoughts on “BONUS POST : STOP PRESS

  1. Melody Maker, Sounds, Disc, Record Mirror, NME……as a kid, I spent every penny of my pocket money on weekly music papers and the records they recommended, but that was all a very long time ago.
    It makes you wonder how much longer the monthlies such as Mojo and Uncut can continue to make ends meet.

  2. Word, paste, plan 9…….not many left now

    Hell the nme was a compulsory read at school and in the small ads you could buy 50 random reggae 45s for next to nowt.

    Sgt pepper knew my father was an nme produced lp. Still got some great vinyl and cds that were stuck to the front, from stienski to the white stripes.

    Hey ho

  3. Whilst I haven’t read it in years, what you say is so true about the influence in our formative years (and later), I wouldn’t have been without it every week to help explore my musical interests – there was only the music papers and Peel after all, I don’t know how I’d have known about much without them!

    I was lucky enough to have the very exciting experience of visiting the NME offices in Carnaby Street in 1983 when I was touting for illustration work and had sent some pieces of work to them on the offchance. I remember nervously pressing the buzzer on the door, wondering what it’d be like inside, would there be any bands visiting?! Then had a meeting with Andy Martin the Art Director who was really nice – although I didn’t get any work out of it!

  4. I had a subscription to the NME in the mid-80’s. It cost an absolute fortune to have it imported to the US but there was really no other way to find out what was going on in the UK other than word of mouth. It was so well-written and opened my eyes and ears to bands I’d never heard of that would go on to be favorites (the Smiths, for example). The Indie charts–when “indie” meant independent–were crucial. Haven’t read the NME (or Sounds or Melody Maker et al) for ages but back in the day it was indispensable.

  5. I was a devotee from the late 80s to the early 2000s, though by then it seemed it was being gradually being dumbed down – more pictures, less writing. That has increasingly been the case in latter years, and some of the writing was like it had been typed by a 10-year-old with a thesaurus. I think its influence has greatly waned as a result, especially with the increase in digital alternatives.

    I even gave up reading the NME website a few years back, preferring Consequence of Sound, Line of Best Fit, Stereogum, etc. That seems to be where NME got all its music news from anyway. Still a shame it’s going, in a way, but can’t say I’m surprised.

    They did publish a letter I wrote to them once though. One of the greatest moments of my life, of course…..

  6. The Robster’s comment about being proud when the NME publishes a letter from him reminded me that only a few years back, the NME said that a Father Sculptor gig at stereo in Glasgow was their recommendation of the week.

    The fact that the event was being promoted by The Vinyl Villain will, in all likelihood, be the pinnacle of my success in the music industry!!!!!

  7. Many copies of the NME (and Melody Maker) bought over the years but haven’t read one for donkeys. Sad but not unexpected. It died years ago really.

  8. If you ask me The Melody Maker signed it’s own death warranty when they ‘fired swc’. I might have spelt fired wrong there.
    I used to dream of writing for the NME though. I had a bit of crush on Johnny Cigarettes wonder what happened to him?

  9. Haven’t read it in the last 30 years but read it religiously in the late 70’s and early 80’s when it had a huge influence on me and countless others

  10. NME will always mean the 13 year old me struggling to comprehend what Paul Morley was on about in his reviews/interviews etc. I persevered and still like Morley to this day due to his association with my favourite bands.

  11. Like many, I was a regular reader for a time, but this latest “free” version was beyond embarrassment. More of a magazine about hair mousse and bad fashion than records. On the occasion I picked up a free copy, I couldn’t believe the NME was only reviewing two or three albums an issue! In fact, I found the (music-based) adverts the most interesting things in it. The advert for FOPP record shops at least told me what new albums were out that week… which is more than the NME did.

    They should be proud though: it was truly a magazine they couldn’t even give away! That’s some achievement.

  12. Let’s be honest, the NME of our youth has been long dead. Putting the zombie abomination that has carried its name for the last few years can only be regarded as a kindness.

  13. Sad, but inevitable. It was an essential read in the early and mid-80s. Perhaps less so thereafter, but I persevered with it until the late 90s when it seemed to be struggling to find a Next Big Thing to follow Britpop.

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