This week's edition will serve as the final physical issue, though the brand will continue to live online. The weekly cover story will now appear as a weekly digital feature dubbed "The Big Read."
The magazine was first published 66 years ago, launching in 1952 as the New Musical Express. In 2015, the magazine switched from a paid title to a free weekly after circulation dropped to 15,000 readers. The advertising-funded free model boosted circulation to 300,000, but was evidently not sustainable.
"Our move to free print has helped propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com," Paul Cheal of NME's publishing company Time Inc. told The Guardian. "We have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand."
The NME will continue to print occasional special issues for sale, like the ongoing NME Gold series.
A number of musicians, readers and former employees have shared their memories of the magazine over the years. See some of the social media reaction to the folded print publication below.
RIP NME pic.twitter.com/RqZ8iRhuR3— Paul Weller (@paulwellerHQ) March 7, 2018
Very sorry to hear about the @NME issuing its last print edition. Love to all the writers there who've helped us over the years, and to all of you that picked up a copy. Blessed to have had you in our corner. pic.twitter.com/EzZ7cvCaYQ— Libertines (@libertines) March 7, 2018
RIP NME— The Charlatans (@thecharlatans) March 7, 2018
in print pic.twitter.com/njmWwLHMoE
A truly sad day that such an icon is no more. Thank you for the memories. They're gonna miss you when you're gone. RIP NME. pic.twitter.com/NWUddsg1iV— KasabianHQ (@KasabianHQ) March 7, 2018
Sad to hear about the @NME closing. It's hard to convey how special it was waiting for a Wednesday to get a glimpse into a world beyond your immediate surroundings. It must seem beyond quaint to the generations that followed ours but it was pretty magical at the same time.— stuart braithwaite (@plasmatron) March 7, 2018
When the NME tried to sue me for defamation or libel or whatever it was , my manager said "Jon crack on , you will outlive them musically by decades"— Reverend&TheMakers (@Reverend_Makers) March 7, 2018
And here I am
Still makes me sad tho. I cared about that magazine even tho often they were utter cunts
Gutted to hear about NME's last print edition. Followed it religiously as a kid and felt immense pride to have my work printed in those pages. Some brilliant people kept it going in the final years.— Jamie Milton (@jamiemilton_) March 7, 2018
(My own thoughts are that NME was really good LONG after people said it wasn't as good as it used to be, and I learned a lot working there, and at the end of the day fair play for trying the free thing instead of just shutting it three years ago.)— Peter Robinson (@Popjustice) March 7, 2018
NME closing the print edition. That absolutely breaks my heart. Working there was all I ever dreamed of as a kid. Working there was (at times, literally) a riot. Picking up a copy when I was thirteen changed my life like Nirvana changed my life or fanzines did. I'm heartbroken— James McMahon (@jamesjammcmahon) March 7, 2018
Even as a rabid Melody Maker extremist, it's a sad day when NME shuts down the print edition. A great publication, in the past. The paper of CSM, Kent, Burchill, Baker, Morley, Penman, Wells, Quantick and many more. Horrible news, too, for any staff who will lose their jobs. RIP.— Simon Price (@simon_price01) March 7, 2018
So sad the print edition of the NME has closed. The music press was the best way into the media for working-class writers - you got paid to write about what you loved! So hard to learn your craft and earn a living now it's all down to blogging.— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) March 7, 2018
RIP NME. You were like a disgraceful grandad - embarrassing at the end, trying to be down with the kids, terrible taste in music, but a bloody great past to chat about after a few beers.— Gemma Hampson (@Gemolo_Gemma) March 7, 2018
There are so many iconic, weird, and great NME covers from over the years. Working there was a dream come true for me and today is a sad day. pic.twitter.com/RehaaT7jL2— David Renshaw (@ddavidrenshaw) March 7, 2018
The NME hated our band— Geoff Barrow (@jetfury) March 7, 2018
Just wasn't "blokey" enough for them.
They liked woman being blokey
Bye bye blokes...