Up-and-coming punk outfit Shame recently graced the cover of the magazine, which was also the final issue of long-running editor Mike Williams.

The 66-year-old mag went free just a few years ago, but Music Business Worldwide report that the company is moving away from print altogether in just a few days.

"NME’s free weekly print magazine will cease publication," says a statement from Time Inc. "This week’s issue of the magazine out on Friday will be the final free print edition."

"NME is one of the most iconic brands in British media and our move to free print has helped to propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on NME.com," adds the company's UK group managing director of music, Paul Cheal. "The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of."

"At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand."

Although the weekly magazine will no longer be printed, NME still plan to put out special issues - including new paid series NME Gold. As well as this new services will launch online, including NME Audio radio stations.

Read the full statement on MBW.