After years of speculation and dwindling readership, NME has now announced its plans to become a free magazine later this year.
In a post written by editor Mike Williams on NME.com, he says, "The cat is out of the bag, and I couldn’t be more excited. For the past few months we’ve been working in secret here at NME on the next phase of our evolution. The goal, throughout all of our research and development, has been to find new and inventive ways to connect with you, our audience, better than ever. In the 63 years since NME launched we have evolved and transformed plenty of times. The evolution of 2015 is our boldest ever move, and I’m delighted to be able to share the news with you at last."
Although sticking to music, the article does go on to state their plans to branch out into other areas like "film, fashion, television, politics, gaming and technology", as well as non-editorial ventures such as "live events, more video franchises and greater engagement with users on new social platforms".
NME has been in trouble over the last decade with constantly falling reader numbers as well as hits on their website. Hopefully this new direction will invigorate the magazine's standing and influence within the music industry.
You can see the full announcement on NME.com here.