Music Magazines Going Digital: We All Lose


It was a long time coming, but the stately indie music rag New Musical Express (NME) has finally shut its doors. Which is to say, it’s print edition is dead, and now it exists as an online-only website.

Blur v Oasis, 1995 cover
Libertines, 2002 cover

Originally print version for 1 GBP, then went free.\ Survived until 2018, much longer than Melody Maker Economics I know the decision to go digital was not an easy one, and probably based on the financial untenability of continuing to print a free edition.

What we’ve lost

The visual identity of the magazine disappears

It becomes like every other boring CMS website out there, everything templated and filled to the brim w/ ads.

NME’s print ads were for new record releases, or upcoming festivals. Now, it’s the programmatic ad trash that follows you around, hawking products we’ll never ever buy from. I’d see a full-colour ad about [....].

Now, I’ll see an ad about investing in Ontario. Because obviously as someone from a Toronto IP, I obviously have the same intentions as a foreign investor group with millions to put into the auto industry or whatever the government thinks is good target.