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In the midst of growth, NME Radio calls it quits

on June 21, 2010, 3:45pm

Hipsters across the pond are currently mourning the loss of NME Radio. The Guardian has reported that DX Media – the company that launched the station in 2008 – has decided to pull the plug on all digital radio and television broadcasts. Users will still be able to access NME Radio online, but the web-only version will lose the human touch since MediaWeek also reports that broadcasts will be fully automated.

The news comes just a week shy of the station’s second anniversary; it is especially surprising since numbers for the first quarter of 2010 indicate a 27.7 percent increase in listeners from 2009. RAJAR (the UK’s Arbitron) figures show that NME radio averaged almost 225,000 listeners weekly, and IPC Media – who publish NME weekly – report that the website was raking in over 4.2 million unique users every month.

To a make matters worse, the station was poised to be in a good position if rumors regarding the termination of the BBC’s 6 Music – which also operated in the modern rock/alternative format  – actually came to fruition. NME had just received a Sony Radio Academy Award in May for “The Best Use of Branded Content” and was set to make a big splash in its advertising revenue.

Matthew Landeman, board director at independent ad agency Carat told MediaWeek that NME’s departure was “…a shame. Especially as they have done work that would warrant advertisers showing them some attention. NME offered advertisers a proper integrated partnership.” He also weighed in on what actually brought the promising station down.

“What NME Radio didn’t have was scale, and the leverage which comes with that,” he said, “but still I’d like to think that they could have found a business model that would work for them.”

Despite all NME Radio could’ve been, Paul Cheal – publishing director for NME – has no ill feelings and is looking to the road ahead.

“We have enjoyed a great working relationship with DX Media,” Cheal told the BBC, “we will continue to develop ways in which NME’s audience can engage with both audio and visual content utilizing our in-house studio facilities while maintaining an online music service via NME.com”

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