NME, the most storied British music magazine, is closing its print edition
There’s one more nail in the very-well-nailed-down coffin of print journalism: British music magazine NME announced this morning that it is killing its 66-year-old print edition and moving to an online-only format, though it plans to release special print issues from time to time. Started in 1952, NME has long been regarded as the UK’s most important pop music publication, known for launching the careers of bands like The Clash, The Smiths, and Oasis. Dozens of musical careers — as well as journalistic ones — were launched in its pages.
Like all magazines, NME has had to adjust to changing markets over the years, leading to the diminished importance of its print edition. In 1996 it launched its popular website; by 2015 its long-suffering subscription model switched to a free publication with a circulation of 300,000. One thing that will be missed will be the magazine’s dynamic front covers, which the publication will attempt to replace with a digital analogue called “The Big Read.” But truly, nothing will compare to holding that big, glossy magazine in your hands, rifling through the pages, and returning to your favorite covers year after year.