It’s a sad day for music industry media, and some of MBW’s staffers, as we learn that historic UK trade paper, Music Week, is to cease being a weekly title – with uncertainty surrounding its future.
The magazine’s parent company, Future PLC, has announced via a surprisingly frank job ad that the title has “been impacted by a number of external market factors and significant economic pressures which mean that Music Week must move into a new phase of its development”.
Adds Future: “The economics of Music Week as a weekly magazine are no longer viable, so we must look for other ways to serve our readership and build new sustainable revenue streams, both in the UK and internationally.”
The title will soon move to a monthly release frequency, says Future, although how long the brand will remain as a physical publication after this point appears up in the air.
“For the time being Future remains committed to Music Week in print, but monthly,” reads the job ad.
The ad further reveals that Music Week will now “inevitably move over time to a digital-first proposition”, including the launch of a paywalled website scheduled to arrive in Q3 next year.
“The economics of Music Week as a weekly magazine are no longer viable, so we must look for other ways to serve our readership and build new sustainable revenue streams.”
It adds: “Music Week’s competition is hotting up… it’s [sic] long-established brand leadership is facing increased pressure from its competitors, including some who have significant strengths in digital media.”
An important profit center for Music Week is its annual UK awards, the Music Week Awards, which traditionally take place in Q2 in London each year.
COVID-19 saw off that possibility in 2020, and sadly may do the same in the first half of 2021, too.
London-based Music Week began life as Record Retailer, originally founded as a monthly in 1959.
A year later, it went weekly, and has remained so ever since, having been renamed as Music Week in 1972.
In 2018, Time Inc announced it was ending the production of another weekly UK music title, NME.Music Business Worldwide