Thursday, August 14, 2003

NME CREEPS UP: The new ABC figures are hugely curates-egg-esque for the NME. It's sales have grown since this time last year - but only just. It's now selling 72,443 copies an issue, compared with 72,057 in the same period last year - an extra 386 copies or a half a percent increase. Last time round, they were breathing a sigh of relief that they'd managed to halt the decline by posting a two percent rise. And, of course, three months ago they were able to claim 73,338 copies, so while the year-on-year is quite good, period-on-period sales will have nerves jangling. We're not sure how they'd spin this one. Actually, we do: IPC say In the music market, the NME's revival continues. NME's weekly sales in the first half were 72,443, up 0.5% year-on-year. And the best is yet to come: autumn will see the launch of a brand new redesign with much stronger use of photography and the introduction of key new features to maintain the momentum achieved by repositioning the iconic brand early last year.

We'd heard there was a redesign in the offing - the phrase we've heard is 'a bit like a watered down Select' - and we tip our hat to the IPC press people for describing the last relaunch as a "repositioning", otherwise the advertising buyers might wonder why such a strong product seems to getr redesigned quite so often. We really can't wait to see the new new new new musical express. We're already deciding where to put the Avril posters up.

IPC also describe Uncut as "the real success of the Men's magazine market" - which might surprise you ladies who read the Mojo-Lite title. It has done well, though, going above the 100,000 mark. Maybe they should merge the NME into it?

If you want some fun, you could do worse than read the wanky profiles of the magazines - sorry, brands - on the IPC website. For example, Uncut:
"Uncut is a provocative read which challenges existing critical attitude and preconceptions about the major figures in music and movies. Uncut brings its readership the most balanced and insightful reviews of new and classic music and movies through the free CD, thus exposing its readers to music they would not otherwise hear about. Uncut's readers indulge their music passion through the magazine and are made to feel young and fashionable by Uncut.

Is that the case? We've more or less stopped buying Uncut because it made us feel old and kind of dirty. And we love that authoratative "music they would not otherwise hear about" - oh, yeah? "Music from bands they'd otherwise avoid like the plague", perhaps.

Then there's the nme:

NME is the most authoritative weekly music magazine aimed at 15-24 music fans. NME readers use the magazine as a social ammunition because of its mix of news, features and opinionated reviews which set the agenda for young Britain. NME makes its readers feel fashionable because keeping them up to date with what everyone is talking about in music each week, it tells them about new and exciting things that are around the corner. NME is on top of all that's hot in music, making the monthlies looking outdated and slow and as a result is constantly quoted elsewhere.

So it's aimed at fifteen to twenty four music fans, then? That's handy, it can afford to lose seventy-two thousand more then. It's interesting to hear that the readers use it as "social ammunition" - what does that even mean? That last week kids were walking down the street sneering because they knew more about Keith Richards? And the 'constantly quoted elsewhere' bit puzzles as well... in the last couple of weeks, the pace seems to have been set more by the Evening Standard and the music websites than the nme. Curious.


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