NME Magazine to become a free weekly magazine from September

The 63-year-old publication will be free of charge from September this year.

NME will become a free magazine from September this year. 

The magazine, which has been produced for 63 years since its first issue in March 1952, will be distributed nationally through stations, universities and various retail partners from September 18.

As well as music, the magazine will now incorporate film, fashion, television, politics, gaming and technology into its content.

Marcus Rich, CEO of Time Inc. UK, said: "This famous 63 year-old brand was an early leader in digital and has been growing its global audience successfully for the best part of 20 years. It has been able to do so because music is such an important passion and now is the right time to invest in bringing NME to an even bigger community for our commercial partners.” 

Mike Williams, editor of NME, added: "NME is already a major player and massive influencer in the music space, but with this transformation we’ll be bigger, stronger and more influential than ever before.

"Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future. That doesn’t mean leaving print behind, but it does mean that print has to change, so I’m incredibly excited by the role it will now play as part of the new NME. The future is an exciting place, and NME just kicked the door down."

The move to go free comes after a sharp decline in sales for the NME (which stands for New Musical Express), which dropped 23% year-on-year to 15,384 at the end of 2014, Music Week reports.

NME's output across its other platforms is also expected to increase in the coming months, with a re-brand of its website and expansion of its live events and video franchises.