The Slow Death of The NME (And Other British Music Magazines)

For decades, there was no such thing as commercial radio in the UK.  It was all BBC, all the time.  The only other alternatives were the high-power stations beaming in from the continent and the pirate stations that plied the waters outside of Britain’s territorial limits.  Filling the gap were weekly music publications, self-appointed dictators of tastes and trends in music culture.

The biggest were The NME, Melody Maker and Sounds.  Of those two, only The NME survives today–and while its website gets good traffic, its dead tree edition is in big trouble.

Despite a big relaunch, circulation continues to fall.  Numbers out this week show that The NME now sells an average of 18,184 copies a week.  Even the digital edition is struggling with average weekly sales of 19,491.  The good news is that The NME manages to reach 3 million people a week through all its platforms.  At least that’s something.

The monthlies are having trouble, too.

  • Mojo:  Down 11% from this time last year to 74,203 copies.
  • Uncut:  Down 9.8%, 56,223
  • Classic Rock:  Down 4.6%, 54,109
  • Kerrang!: Down 8.9%, 35,127
  • Metal Hammer:  Down 12.5%, 26,273

No numbers were available for Q or Record Collector.

(Via The Guardian)

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.

One thought on “The Slow Death of The NME (And Other British Music Magazines)

  • February 14, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Miss some of the great ones like The Face, Select, and Melody Maker!


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