NME has arrived in Japan, boosted by a a new deal with concert promoter Kyodo Tokyo Inc.
The flagship UK new music magazine has launched a localised website in Japan, nme-jp.com, and is plotting a series of live NME-branded music events in the territory – kicking off with the Jesus & Mary Chain in November.
NME.jp.com will feature interviews and news with local artists, as well as translated content from the main NME.com site.
The news comes just days after NME owner Time Inc announced that the British weekly magazine would be going free in its home region from September.
Jo Smalley, publishing director of NME, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Kyodo Tokyo to bring NME to Japan.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity to deliver our content to an appreciative Japanese audience boosted by an exciting experiential strategy. Both our companies are rich in heritage – NME has been the definitive voice of everything that matters in music since 1952, while Kyodo Tokyo has been putting on world-class events in Japan since 1962 and continues to do so with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift this spring and The Rolling Stones in February 2014.
“This partnership represents an exciting new chapter for both brands, as we work together to make NME-jp.com the most influential music site in Japan.”
Yoshito Yamazaki, president of Kyodo Tokyo, added: “We are extremely excited to work with NME, an innovative and renowned media brand with a long history. When we had The Beatles at Nippon Budokan in 1966, it was the first time the venue had been used in Japanese history for an event other than martial arts.
“Sir Paul McCartney returned to Japan to perform there again in April, and NME has named this venue as one of the ‘14 Legendary Rock Venues in the World’.
“We are now to start this project with the most influential UK-based music media brand, at the same time as hosting great performances from Sir Paul McCartney at this historical venue, half a century after he performed there as The Beatles.
“It is our pleasure and responsibility to introduce live entertainment by talented, international artists to the Japanese market while our Japanese artists are introduced to the world.”
Bianca Hamilton-Foster, international licensing manager at Time Inc. UK, added: “It’s very exciting to be launching an international licence of this nature. This reinforces our international licensing strategy of taking our brands beyond print and highlights the continued appetite for world-class content in any number of channels.
“Working with Kyodo Tokyo is yet another innovative example of NME demonstrating its prime mission to serve music fans all over the world and this licence joins a growing number of unique licensing partnerships for our iconic media brands.”Music Business Worldwide