The UK’s influential new music magazine, NME, will take on the likes of Shortlist from mid-September by going free.
The move will boost the 63-year-old magazine’s circulation from 15,000 to more than 300,000, with editions distributed across the UK through train stations, universities and retail partners.
Music will remain at the heart of the publication but owner Time Inc says that the free title will offer more fulsome coverage of film, fashion, television, politics, gaming and technology.
The date of the first free NME will be September 18.
Marcus Rich, CEO 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, editor of NME, added: “NME is already a major player and massive influencer in the music space, but 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.”
In February’s ABCs, NME’s official six-monthly circulation stood at 15,384, including 1,389 digital copies.
Music Business Worldwide