Music Industry

How Bad Is It for British Music Magazines? Bad. Very Bad.

For years, I’ve been addicted to British music magazines.  Despite the high cost and the fact that we sometimes get them two months late, publications like Q, Mojo, Uncut, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Kerrang and a few others are required reading for me every month.  And I’ve often wondered how a market the size of the UK was able to support so many magazines of such high quality.

Well, maybe it can’t.

New circulation figures show that The NME–the weekly music paper that’s been around since the middle of the last century–can’t even sell 15,000 copies a week now. That’s a drop of over 28% from this point in 2013.  How long will it be before they abandon the dead tree version and go strictly online?

And it’s not just The NME.  Sales of the physical rock music press in Britan was down an average of 15.3%.  Last year at this time, all magazines of this sort sold an average of 252,833 copies.  Now that average is 214,121.

Q:  Down 21.8%

Kerrang:  Down 12%

Uncut: Down 12%

Mojo:  Down 10.9%

Frankly, I’ve been weaning myself off the physical versions of these magazines ever since they began available on my iPad.  I just hope that they’re able to continue that way.

(Via Music Week)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38308 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.