Becky Kelly reports on the impact that, the music magazine, NME has had on musician in the wake of their decision to cease print publications
After 66 years in print NME will now appear solely as an online publication, as they cease printing their flagship magazine.
The weekly publication of NME magazine, which began printing in 1952, will be replaced with the Big Read feature on their website, as well as rare special edition publications.
The announcement led to a series of tributes from musicians once featured on the magazine’s iconic cover.
Brit and Grammy-award winning artist Sam Smith posted a dedication on Instagram: “Will really miss the physical copies of @nmemagazine. Thank you so much for all the support you have shown me and my music.”
Keith Walker, Digital Director of NME, stated that: “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.”
The prominence of NME has been declining steadily, with one last effort to keep printing through the launch of Free NME back in September 2015. However, the edition released on March 9 2018 marked the magazine’s final weekly print publication, with Stefflon Don featuring on the cover.
To some, the announcement marks a change in music journalism and album and artist promotion. BIMM final year student and aspiring musician Ben Corcoran, welcomes the decision: “It is a money saver for them firstly so it is a clever business decision. People have mini computers in their pockets these days and I think, generally speaking, people are less likely to purchase physical magazines. The world is getting lazier.”
However, he also believes they could go one step further: “I think if NME were clever enough they would try and link their digital magazine to streaming services such as Spotify in order to maximise potential viewers and customers.”
“People have mini computers in their pockets these days and I think, generally speaking, people are less likely to purchase physical magazines. The world is getting lazier”
Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, rock ‘n’ roll cultural historian and course leader of music journalism in BIMM London, says that: “It is really sad to see the end of the print edition of this beloved part of British music heritage.”
“However, the move to fully [publish] online is also an exciting movement that reflects the changing music economy and the importance of NME for aspiring bands and dedicated fans alike. NME will remain at the heart of any artist’s campaign, just in a digital form which reflects how people are getting and consuming media.”
The Guardian hailed NME magazine as “becoming a cheerleader for punk and then a champion for the new wave and indie acts” and described it as being at “the forefront of Britpop” in the 90s.