Although the smaller, paper NME might be enjoying a stretch of gentle decline, there's hope for the title, if not the magazine, in the newly-published audited online circulation figures for NME.com. It's claiming a sizeable 1,693,196 unique visitors for June 2007. Although the offered comparision ("Ten years ago, the site recorded just 51,669 unique users") might be a slightly spurious one, it suggests IPC have hit on a web strategy that's working better than the offline plans. The question must be rumbling through the accountants heads' as to what difference the extinguishing of the magazine and redirection of investment in the virtual edition would make. And if over one and a half million people are happily using the site without buying the magazine, has the NME now become a webservice with an old-media spin-off?