MELODY MAKER, the British music magazine, is to merge with NME following the publication of its final standalone issue next week. THE MAKER, as it is affectionately known, has been publishing weekly since 1926 and will live on in the pages of NME, the world’s biggest selling rock ‘n’ roll weekly newspaper, and digitally through NME.COM, Europe’s most popular music website.
In an interview with NME.COM, Mike Soutar, managing director of IPC Music & Sport who own both NME and Melody Maker, said : “We are merging Melody Maker into the NME brand. The final issue of Melody Maker will be published at Christmas, following which the Melody Maker’s famous Musicians’ section will transfer to the weekly NME and the classified ads will migrate online to NME.COM at the beginning of 2001.
“We are ceasing the publication of the standalone Melody Maker because, unfortunately, market conditions made continued publishing impossible. The magazine was doing exactly what it should have been doing but the readers just weren’t there in the numbers to keep it viable.”
Mr Soutar said that the decision to merge Melody Maker came after investigations into other publishing options, including changing the magazine to a monthly frequency but, as EMAP’s recent closure of Select magazine indicates, the monthly indie rock market is as tough as the weekly market.
Mike Soutar continued : “IPC remains the leader in high-frequency music news and information through the NME weekly paper and NME.COM. With the Melody Maker merger, we will focus single-mindedly on growing NME across many platforms. Where we had two parallel magazines championing all that is great in British music, we now have one major brand continuing that role in print, online, on television and via SMS messaging and Internet radio. We feel that incorporating Melody Maker into the NME brand best meets the future challenges and opportunities of how to continue our crucial role in the development and support of great British music.”
The Melody Maker archive will merge with NME’s to create the world’s greatest historical rock ‘n’ roll resource while several key members of Melody Maker staff will join the NME brand.