Monday, February 23, 2009

NME scatters music throughout

Rumour tells that in the late 1970s, efforts were made at Sounds to develop a scratch and sniff offering for their magazine: you see a band's name, you scratch, and you could instantly inhale the perfume of that band. It never saw the light of day - the technology was fautless, but somebody then realised what the sort of band Sounds wrote about actually smelled like.

Now, though, in 2009, NME is trying something similar - not with smell, but with music. And not in the magazine, but online: Every time a band name appears on the site, you can click on it and We7 will stream the sound of that band through to your ears.

It's one of those so-obvious-it's-not-clear-why-it's-taken-til-now ideas; obviously the hope is that a few people will go from going 'what do Pigsy And The Snout sound like?', through 'oh, that's what they sound like', to 'here, have some money, Pigsy, with a portion raked off to the NME.'

It's further evidence that most of the inspired thinking is going on NME's online proposition than trying to prop up the print edition right now - but there is the dangling question of what the NME online stands for if it continues to move away from being an online manifestation of a venerable magazine.

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