NME (The New Musical Express) will be free to read as of Friday the 18th September, available from selected train stations, universities and stores throughout the UK.
Speculation surfaced earlier this year, followed by confirmation in June. The move comes after a steady decline in sales, as audiences use other platforms to find out about new bands, and at the same time can hear the music instantly. In the last six months of 2014 NME sold just over 15,000 copies, which also included digital sales. A change was needed and this could just be it.
From Friday around 300,000 copies will be available for free. This will give NME the reach it used to enjoy in the 60's & 70's, provided the new format is well received. Going forward the magazine will also include more articles on TV, film, fashion, gaming and politics. This is a complete overhaul.
Personally I hope the new NME will be well received and will be successful in its new journey. It has been a part of our culture as long as there has been great popular music. Pages torn from issues have lined the walls of bedrooms across the country and its articles passed between friends, waiting to read the latest on their favourite bands. It would be a shame to lose what NME has given us, our parents and our grandparents; the chance to explore music and all it has to offer.
All the best to NME, I will be collecting my copy on Friday.