NME has undergone a complete redesign to make it feel more like a magazine and less like a newspaper.
The revamp follows six months’ research and includes an editorial restructure which sees the reviews moving towards the back of the title and the letters further forward.
Interviews with bands will be more in-depth, a contents page has been introduced at the front and the gig guide has been made easier to use, along with a new seven-day planner featuring essential albums, tickets, ?lm, games, TV and radio.
The reviews are expected to be more eye-catching and event-driven with a new ‘gig recommender’ covering the whole of the UK.
The classi?ed ads section, previously known as “The Works”, has been revamped and renamed the “NME Messageboard”, highlighting a number of reader ads each week as well as the stories behind the ads. The back page will be devoted to current artists talking about their greatest in?uences.
NME editor Conor McNicholas said the redesign would leave more room for photography and album and single reviews. The magazine has also increased the link with its website, promoting nme.com in colour-coded signposting throughout.
“When you’re dealing with something that’s over 50 years old, it’s a fantastic legacy but it does tend to get dust in the corners. We’ve done a successful job of repositioning NME over the past 18 months and this is the crystallisation of that,” he told Press Gazette.
McNicholas said NME had suffered a reputation in the past for being a bit arrogant and the new look made it more accessible to ?rst-time buyers as well as existing readers. “The fresh design makes the whole magazine more accessible so it runs as a magazine and not a newspaper.” “The kids who are into the music change faster than the music itself. What they want above all is authenticity,” he said.
NME regained its lead over Kerrang! in the music weekly sector in the ABCs last month with a circulation of 72,443.
Backed by an advertising campaign targeting students at universities as well as across all MTV channels, the ?rst redesigned issue will be out next week with a cover price of £1.80.
NME launched as New Musical Express in 1952 after the former New Accordion and Musical Express was acquired from Express Newspapers.
By Ruth Addicott