There will also be a new focus on "digital products". was at the vanguard of online music press when it launched in 1996; the magazine itself - beginning life as the New Musical Express - has been running since 1952.

They will be launching the free edition of NME from autumn, with "more than 300K copies distributed nationally through stations, universities and retail partners."

A press statement said that although music remains a focus, there will be new lights shone on  "film, fashion, television, politics, gaming and technology". It continues, adding that "NME will dramatically increase its content output and range, with new original as well as curated content appearing across all platforms, including print. Other highlights will include an expansion in live events, more video franchises and greater engagement with users on new social platforms".

The magazine's editor Mike Williams wrote on, following months on speculation and rumours:

"The cat is out of the bag, and I couldn’t be more excited. For the past few months we’ve been working in secret here at NME on the next phase of our evolution. The goal, throughout all of our research and development, has been to find new and inventive ways to connect with you, our audience, better than ever. In the 63 years since NME launched we have evolved and transformed plenty of times. The evolution of 2015 is our boldest ever move, and I’m delighted to be able to share the news with you at last."