NME has claimed its highest advertising revenue in 15 years ahead of its relaunch as a free magazine tomorrow.
The weekly music title's first free edition will feature five times the volume of advertising compared with its corresponding issue last year, publisher Time Inc said.
The magazine tomorrow features an interview with popstar Rihanna, who features on the front page with a T-shirt saying 'free'.
Paul Cheal, managing director of Innovation, Time Inc, said: "We are launching an exciting new NME magazine with great commercial appeal into the free market with the benefit of it already being an iconic media brand.
"The launch cover star speaks volumes about NME’s access to the biggest artists in the world."
Mike Williams, editor-in-chief, said: "This is an historic moment for the NME brand. The new NME is a breath of fresh air from cover to cover, and is everything a magazine should be in 2015 – relevant, intelligently designed and packed full of access, opinions and recommendations."
NME will be distributed in 46 cities and 85 towns nationwide.
Time Inc said: "Menzies Distribution Ltd is the distribution partner and through its micro-delivery subsidiary JYL Hand to Hand, 361 distributors will hand out copies at 26 rail stations, 64 tube stations and 49 universities, accounting for 55% of NME’s total distribution. The retail distribution arm of the strategy will see 140 Topman stores and 121 HMV stores prominently display NME for pick-up. Copies will also be available at 13 Academy Music Group live music venues across the UK in key cities and 75 independent record stores."
The publisher said free digital editions will also be available and that readers can continue to subscribe to the print edition for a small postage-and-packaging fee.