NME repositions as free weekly magazine as editor admits ‘print has to change’

Time Inc has announced a major overhaul of its music magazine NME with a complete rework of distribution and content strategies.

Rebranding as a free weekly magazine with a greater content output online and in print, the publication will be looking for commercial opportunities to make up for the slashing of the £2.80 RRP.

On the back of the changes, NME expressed an ambition to increase its live event involvement and push greater engagement on social media platforms.

Confirming industry whisperings that the brand was to make the transition to free, Marcus Rich, chief executive of Time Inc. UK, said: “This famous 63 year-old brand was an early leader in digital and has been growing its global audience successfully for the best part of 20 years.

“It has been able to do so because music is such an important passion and now is the right time to invest in bringing NME to an even bigger community for our commercial partners.”

Mike Williams, NME editor, added: “With this transformation we’ll be bigger, stronger and more influential than ever before. Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future.

“That doesn’t mean leaving print behind, but it does mean that print has to change, so I’m incredibly excited by the role it will now play as part of the new NME. The future is an exciting place, and NME just kicked the door down.”

The publication, which was launched in 1952, now boasts a UK circulation of 300,000 copies.

It will relaunch for the 18 September 2015 edition.

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