Despite dwindling circulation figures and speculative online chat, music magazine ‘NME’ has been forced to deny that it will be made available for free. Speculation over the possibility of NME going free first started on Facebook and Twitter, although Vice news fanned the fames after asking an ill-informed shopkeeper who said that the NME had already told stockists the magazine was to go free without its usual £2.40 price tag. However, these claims have since been denied.
In an update, Vice.com, stated TIME Inc., UK told the website “”it’s untrue that next week’s edition is the last paid for issue of NME.”
When asked for a statement, a spokesperson for TIME Inc., told The Independent that it did not comment on speculation and added that between the magazine’s website and the digital edition, the magazine has an audience of close to 4 million.
According to The Independent, figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that print circulation had declined to 13,995 for the last six months of 2014, which amounts to a 23% fall in NME’s print circulation.
In the 70s, NME was one of the U.K.’s most popular magazines for getting the latest music news and reviews and it had a circulation of 300,000. However, as with many publications, NME is struggling to maintain the readership for its printed copies due to the fact that so many people now choose the consume their media online, nevertheless, this does not mean the publication is about to drop its price tag.
The weekly magazine, which was founded by Theodore Ingham, has been published since the 1950s and had helped to launch the careers of some of the U.K.’s best-known journalists including Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons.