After 80 per cent circulation drop in ten years, NME print edition to go free

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NME is to be made into a free weekly magazine from 18 September, publisher Time Inc. has announced.

According to ABC, the music magazine – which current costs £2.60 – recorded an average weekly circulation of 15,384 in the second half of 2014. This is down from more than 75,000 ten years ago.

According to a press release sent out this morning, more than 300,000 free copies of the title will be distributed nationally in stations, universities and "retail partners".

Time Inc.said: "NME will dramatically increase its content output and range, with new original as well as curated content appearing across all platforms, including print.

"Other highlights will include an expansion in live events, more video franchises and greater engagement with users on new social platforms. NME will also continue to grow its global footprint."

Marcus Rich, chief executive of Time Inc. UK, said: “This famous 63-year-old brand was an early leader in digital and has been growing its global audience successfully for the best part of 20 years.

"It has been able to do so because music is such an important passion and now is the right time to invest in bringing NME to an even bigger community for our commercial partners.”

Mike Williams, editor of NME, said: “NME is already a major player and massive influencer in the music space, but with this transformation we’ll be bigger, stronger and more influential than ever before.

"Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future.

"That doesn’t mean leaving print behind, but it does mean that print has to change, so I’m incredibly excited by the role it will now play as part of the new NME.

"The future is an exciting place, and NME just kicked the door down.”

In Septemer 2012, weekly entertainment title for London Time Out responded to declining print sales by going free. It now has a weekly free distribution of just over 300,000.

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