IPC Music Publishers

IPC Music Publishers
   Derived from ‘International Publishing Corporation’, IPC Magazines is the UK’s major publisher of consumer magazines. It is a division of Reed International PLC. Among others, it publishes Classic Cars, Country Life, Golf Monthly, Horse and Hound, Ideal Home, Living, New Scientist, Shoot, Woman’s Journal and Woman’s Own. The company has four divisions, including Southbank Publishing Group and Prospect Magazines.
   In 1983, IPC launched Number1 a weekly pop magazine, but its most important magazine in terms of popular culture is New Musical Express, universally known as NME. This broadsheet provided a formative influence in young people’s lives right from the 1950s and gained respect as an authoritative commentary on popular music. It covered rock ‘n’ roll imports from America and other influences on the contemporary British scene. Its emphasis was regional and local, as well as national, and both it and Melody Maker wrote about people on the edge of the cult rock mainstream and tended to ignore established figures with more of a history. This allowed space for Smash Hits and the glossy EMAP Metro magazine Q (see EMAP Maclaren) to steal some of its readership. (Nick Logan, founder of Smash Hits and The Face, spent five years as editor of NME). In response, NME changed itself and introduced a regular rock column, and regained some of its readership. As well as music, NME has supported general aspects of youth culture. For example it was enthusiastic about the comic 2000AD and recommended it to readers. NME had itself been greatly influenced by the underground presses of the 1960s and early 1970s. It has always been regarded as a quality magazine and has taken its contributors from both ‘low’ and ‘high’ culture. So for example, cartoonist Ray Lowry came from the underground (Cyclops) and his work appeared in NME and Private Eye. Journalist Charles Shaar Murray’s work appeared in NME, the Observer and the Daily Telegraph, and Julie Burchill has written for both the NME and the Sunday Times. In 1995 the circulation of NME was a weekly 106,903. It is estimated that the magazine is read by 607,000 people per issue.
   See also: music press
   Further reading
    Riley, S.G. (ed.) (1993) Consumer Magazines of the British Isles, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
   MIKE STORRY

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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