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Drastic Decline In Sales Sparks NME Magazine Revamp

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Recently, we here at The Pro Audio Web Blog put many would-be journalists’ mind’s at rest when we confirmed that whist print media was in a slump, PPA Combined Circulation figures showed that there was an increase in online and app circulation for music magazines. This meant that whilst people’s interest in physical magazine’s seemed to be declining, magazines were being kept afloat by other ventures. In this article, we pointed out that a former cornerstone of the British music press, the NME, had a decline in circulation of over 13%, according to ABCs year-on-year figures. So perhaps it is as good of a time as any for the NME to have a rethink, which is what they have done, with a complete repackaging of the magazine.

A statement from NME owners IPC media claimed that the magazine would be undergoing a complete overhaul, despite only undergoing a redesign 3 years ago. In a statement released online, a spokesperson for IPC said that there will be a “complete reworking of the magazine’s content and a refocusing of the key areas online, including the introduction of a number of new franchises and enhancing the most popular sections of the magazine and website”. This will include several new features, including an expansion of the “radar” section that covers new artists, a “lost albums” section, and columns from TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. They will also be compiling an official “Record Store Chart”, which will be run by The Official Chart Company, and compile sales from independent record stores from around the UK.

This revamp is likely to be in the light of recent ABC figures, that reported that the NME’s circulation had fell to just over 20,000 units, despite having massive success online, as well as a growing hold on the emerging app market.

We reported earlier in the year, when the ABC figures were released, that music journalism is not losing revenue due to the fact that magazines are now treating themselves as brands, and are getting behind everything from tours to clothing deals. Of course, the phrase “new franchises” indicates that this will be the direction the NME will be taking, although there is no word on what these franchises are as of yet.The magazine, which perhaps symbolically features NME staple David Bowie’s latest reinvention of himself on the cover, is available now. We haven’t read it at The Pro Audio Web Blog, but we’re hoping that they pull through on their promise on covering new artists, but who knows. We do know, however, that reinvention and branching out into new territories may be the smartest thing to do in the current magazine market.

Sean Lewis

Recently, we here at The Pro Audio Web Blog put many would-be journalists’ mind’s at rest when we confirmed that whist print media was in a slump, PPA...

Sean Lewis - 15th October 2013

Article Ref: #NMESalesPlumit