MAGAZINE ABCs: Double-digit falls at NME send it close to 30k mark

The NME drops 16.4% of its circulation, declining to just 32,166 from a high of 76,792 five years ago, and risks falling out of the top 10 film and music titles next year.

NME: print sales continue to slip
NME: print sales continue to slip

Despite appointing new editor Krissi Murison in 2009, and a relaunch in April last year, publisher IPC has been unable to prevent its ongoing decline, with circulation at the once mainstay of the music press falling by a further 16.4% year-on-year.

The declines at NME mean it could easily be eclipsed by Haymarket's classical titles Gramophone and Classic FM – both hovering just below 31,000 circulation – by next year. The two magazines, owned by Media Week's publisher, are losing readers, but at a far slower rate than the NME.

Paul Williams, managing director of IPC Inspire, was quick to praise the multimedia reach of the NME in the face of the continuing print declines: "NME has become the exemplar of a modern multi-platform media brand, serving its core audience of 16- to 24-year-olds in print, online, via social media, on TV, radio, mobile and, most recently, via apps.

"Our mission is to continue engaging with passionate music fans on multiple platforms and delivering NME's editorial voice and unique access, while offering our advertisers innovative and targeted marketing solutions."

Bauer's Empire remains the largest magazine in the sector, with a 179,064 circulation, but it also displayed sharp falls, its circulation dropping by 11.1% year on year.

Just three titles in the top 10 managed to increase readers this year – Kerrang!, Metal Hammer and BBC Music managed increases of 4.5%, 0.1% and 0.1%, respectively.

Rimi Atwal, publishing director, of Kerrang!, Q and Mojo, said: "The most influential music magazine brands in the UK have all put in market-beating performances.

"Kerrang! enters its 30th year as the world’s biggest music weekly and a multi-platform youth culture brand for all rock genres. The magazine, along with its website, Kerrang! Radio, The K! Awards, K! Tours and K! Podcasts ensures the brand remains a unique route for reaching a young dynamic audience."

Bauer's Q  fell by 6.9% year on year. Atwel said Q was all about discovering new music, which "is the beating heart of a brand that has developed its trusted and influential content to huge success online".

In August, only Kerrang! was able to show an increase in circulation.

MediaWeek is owned by Haymarket.

Top 10 film and music magazines
Title Publisher July-Dec Prd/prd Yr/yr
    2010 change change
Empire Bauer Consumer Media  172,639 -3.6% -11.1%
Mojo Bauer Consumer Media  94,617 3.2% -3.9%
Q Bauer Consumer Media  88,240 -1.4% -6.9%
Total Film Future Publishing  78,709 3.4% -2.9%
Uncut IPC Media  72,586 -2.0% -3.9%
Classic Rock Future Publishing  67,695 -3.7% -5.0%
Kerrang! Bauer Consumer Media  42,967 -2.4% 4.5%
BBC Music Magazine BBC Worldwide  42,834 n/a 0.1%
Metal Hammer Future Publishing  41,826 -5.0% 0.1%
New Musical Express IPC Media  32,166 -5.0% -16.4%
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