Perhaps in an elaborate bid to prove, just in case there was any doubt, just how hard it is to run a 6music-style new music station in the commercial sector, NME Radio went off the air on Friday. Despite winning awards, plaudits and pretty respectable RAJAR listening figures for a digital-only station, and despite benefiting from plenty of cross-promotion from the other NME media, it seems the company behind the service, DX Media, couldn’t make the operation commercially viable.
NME owners IPC Media confirmed on Friday that DX, which utilised IPC’s NME brand under licence for its digital radio venture, had “announced its intention to terminate the arrangement”. IPC will continue to operate a back-to-back music service online for the time being, but without any of the presenters that won NME Radio many of its fans. The service has ceased to air on the DAB digital radio platform and on the Sky, Virgin and Freesat networks.
While the NME Radio website, accessed via NME.com, is yet to be updated to represent the changes that will take place to the music magazine’s online music stream (ie it will be presenter-free), the DX Media website has gone offline. It is not clear what the end of NME Radio means for the radio company founded by Sammy Jacob, also the mastermind behind the original Xfm.
Confirming the closure of the main NME radio service, the magazine’s Publishing Director Paul Cheal told CMU: “We have enjoyed a great working relationship with DX Media and we would like to thank them for all the excellent work that has gone into NME Radio. Meanwhile, we will continue to develop ways in which NME’s audience can engage with both audio and visual content utilising our in-house studio facilities whilst maintaining an online music service via our award-winning music website NME.com”.