Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017

NZ Musician Magazine becomes digital only

After 29 years and 172 issues the publishers of NZ Musician have announced that the April/May 2017 issue will be the magazine’s final regular publication. While leaving the door open for possible future ‘special’ issues the respected free local music title will no longer be published bi-monthly. Instead, the magazine’s editorial team will be developing future content exclusively for publishing on the magazine’s website.

“While obviously very saddened to be saying goodbye to the print version of NZM after nearly three decades we intend to continue publishing a similar range of content online, as well as providing a significantly enhanced digital menu,” says the publication’s long time editor Richard Thorne.

“With the magazine’s extensive history, the value of its archives and the evident enthusiasm for it from readers, subscribers and contributors we felt it important to stage this exit from print in a managed way,” Mr Thorne says. “To that end we recently developed a fantastic new online platform that will allow the inclusion of a range of new and exciting digital initiatives.”

First published in 1988, NZ Musician originated as a magazine for NZ importers and retailers of musical instruments and equipment to promote their products. In recent years it has become the last-man-standing of a bevy of music-focused titles that flourished ahead of the arrival of the internet. NZM’s longevity can likely be attributed to it ‘sticking to its knitting’ and maintaining a broadly supportive approach towards those who make and perform music from NZ.

Along the way it has given coverage to a diversity of creative musical movements including the turntable-based DJ/dance music scene, the development of NZ hip hop, the return to favour of indie guitar bands, the growth of home studio recording and software-based instrumentation, and the recent rise in popularity of Kiwi country/folk artists.

The magazine has had a website presence ( for almost two decades. Database changes between the previous and new website platforms mean that thousands of historic articles and news items are still being edited to complete the digital archive dating back to the millennium.

“Among a number of points of difference from other music mags, both local and international, NZ Musician aimed to first engage with music makers themselves, promoting and publicising new Kiwi music through them,” explains Mr Thorne.

“Over time the editorial approach has moved much more towards engaging non-musician local music enthusiasts, but essentially NZM artist features still talk exclusively about the music – rather than ephemera like star signs or publicity hype. We intend to continue providing the same broad range of features for readers online, as well as developing some very exciting new digital initiatives.”

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