NME Magazine will put out its final ever print edition this week
A genuine collector's edition up for grabs as an iconic magazine calls time.
The New Musical Express is no more, at least not in its physical guise, anyway.
The long-running British music magazine will cease printing following the release of the final ever physical edition of the magazine this week.
Its editor, Mike Williams, stepped down at the end of February after the magazine's publisher Time Inc. UK was sold to private equity company Epiris in a deal reported to be worth about £130 million.
NME announced its closure of the print edition via a press release on Wednesday that primarily focused on expanding its "digital-first strategy" to the point that that aspect was the headline.
The real story, however, is the death of a household name magazine that first hit shelves in 1952.
At its height, NME sold up to 300,000 copies a week in the 1970s. By the early 2000s, it was very much creating and championing its own indie scene, pushing the likes of Oasis, The Libertines, Bloc Party and The Strokes especially hard.
Its modern format, however, was that of an advertising-heavy weekly free-sheet available in the likes of Topman and train stations.
“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,” said Time Inc. UK's Managing Director for Music Paul Cheal.
“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," he added. “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.”
Music Week, meanwhile, has confirmed that a number of redundancies will occur as a result of the magazine's closure.
In the wake of the news, many journalists and musicians took to Twitter to share their thoughts and memories of the NME:
Sad to hear about the @NME closing. It’s hard to convey how special it was waiting for a Wednesday to get a glimpse into a world beyond your immediate surroundings. It must seem beyond quaint to the generations that followed ours but it was pretty magical at the same time.
— stuart braithwaite (@plasmatron) March 7, 2018
The NME never once asked me where I studied. Or what certificates I had. Or where I saw myself in 5 years. They just sent you to see some band and asked for 400 words on them. If they liked it they'd give you an album to review. Next thing you know you're in New York...
— Danny Baker (@prodnose) March 7, 2018
saying NME has been terrible the last few years devalues a lot of great work by great writers – some of them may be losing their jobs too, so idk, maybe don't be too much of a dick about it
— sammy maine (@sammymaine) March 7, 2018
NME was a total lifeline to me as a kid. When I started writing for them, I assumed the little jolt of electricity I got seeing my name in it each week would one day wear off. Never did
— Al Horner (@Al_Horner) March 7, 2018
It does seem like the end of... something that the NME's no longer in print. I bought it every week as a teenager, wouldn't be a music journalist if it didn't exist and was thrilled when I got to write for it. But it also seems like its time had passed quite a few years ago. pic.twitter.com/59mY02OIHI
— Danny Wright (@dethink2survive) March 7, 2018