One of the UK’s most iconic music magazines, NME, has announced that after 66 years in production it will no longer feature as a weekly magazine. Tomorrow will see its final ever edition hit UK shelves before becoming an online-only entity.
Over the years some of the world’s biggest music stars have featured on the cover of NME magazine including Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and David Bowie. Within minutes of the announcement being made, the hashtag RIP NME began trending on Twitter, demonstrating just how well loved the magazine was amongst audiences.
However, despite the inevitable disappointment that fans will be feeling in the wake of this news, it is perhaps unsurprising as sales of the magazine have been dwindling in recent years. In 2015 circulation dropped to 15,000, a low point for the publication.
Paul Cheal, the managing director at NME’s publishers TimeInc UK said:
“Our move to free print has helped propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com. 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.”
NME will continue online and will occasionally release special print editions when significant events in the musical world take place but will no longer be available as a weekly publication. Here at Champions Music & Entertainment, we provide a rundown of the history of NME magazine.
History of the magazine
First established in 1952, London based music promoter Maurice Kinn purchased the publication, initially titled Accordion Times and Musical Express and rebranded it as the New Musical Express or NME for short. Produced as a news outlet for music fans, NME are famed for creating the UK Singles Chart which we know and love today with the first one single going to Al Martino for the song Here in My Heart.
As the years progressed the magazine became well known for promoting up and coming UK artists including The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. As the music scene changed as the years and decades went by, NME changed with it having several rebrands along the way.
In the 90s during the Britpop era that was sweeping the nation, they regularly included features with rival bands Oasis and Blur. In 2010 they opted for a completely new design with the April issue having 10 different covers, each featuring a different artist to represent the wider range of music the magazine would feature.
The introduction of online media
The print edition may be gone but NME will live on online and the publication first launched their website in 1996. Winning several awards including the ‘Online Magazine of the Year’ award in 1999 and 2001, the digital version of the magazine was a hit from the start.
In 2007 they launched a USA version of the website and have continued to innovate adding new features all the time. In 2011 NMEVideo.com was launched bringing new video content to audiences as well as a festival app which allowed users to receive backstage content, photo galleries and interviews of some of the biggest music festivals in the company.
One of the things that NME is most famous for is its front covers which features a different artist on every edition. Over the years some of the biggest names in the industry have appeared on the cover and this has become one of the magazine’s most famous elements. The first ever cover featured Jerry Colonna, Ronnie Aldrich and Harry Roy.
Featuring artists who have recently passed away was one thing they became famous for with covers of Kurt Cobain, John Lennon MBE and Amy Winehouse all making headlines. As well as this they included the most topical events on their covers such as the ‘battle of britpop’ between Blur and Oasis in 1995.
Perhaps the most iconic of all was Richey from the Manic Street Preachers appearing on the cover, completely covered in stamps of Marilyn Monroe’s face in 1992, and fans are sure to be saddened by the fact that tomorrow will see the final ever NME cover.
Champions Music & Entertainment have a whole host of musical acts on our roster who are perfect for all events. For more information call 0207 078 78 76 or complete our online form and a member of the team will get back to you.