Monday, July 06, 2015

NME - A brave new future?

NME magazine, which started as New Musical Express in 1952, has been battling falling print sales for years. Once-upon-a-time it had sales well into six figures on a week-by-week basis; now it manages about 15,000 but it remains a weekly publication. Its on-line alter ego was one of the earliest music magazine websites of note and today announced the biggest shake-up in the history of the whole brand...

You might have expected that the announcement would be that the paper, physical version at least, would be no more but then you might have said that about vinyl records fifteen years ago. What it revealed is that, from September, it is following the model that turned-around the daily London Evening Standard newspaper some years back. It too had seen off much of the competition but still couldn't make the paid-for model work in terms of sales versus market penetration required to support the required advertising revenue.
NME currently retails at £2.40 ($3.80 , €3.40), although subscription prices are considerably lower than this as is standard fare in the existing model.

NME will become free, distributed at railway stations, colleges and wherever ever else the demand is, or is discovered to be, nationally. The print run is expected to be in the region of 300,000 copies.
It has many great writers and, consistently, is not afraid to air opinions that might ruffle feathers - be those of readers, artists or other industry concerns. 
It is a brave move and I wish it well. It deserves no less.

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