The latest issue of the magazine featuring Palma Violets NME

The publisher of music magazine the NME has denied it is about to turn into a free publication.

Rumours around the future of the magazine stemmed from (not exactly concrete) reports from Vice the next issue of the magazine will be "positively the last time" there will be a cover price, according to a newsletter sent to stockists as told via a local newsagent.

Sales of the NME have fallen dramatically in recent years and recent circulation figures show the magazine now has had an average weekly print run of 13,995, a 23% decrease from last year.

During its heyday, the magazine, which has been published since 1952, saw weekly sales of almost 300,000.

As speculation surrounding the future of the NME arose, its publisher Time Inc insisted the reports are "categorically" untrue and next week's edition will not be the final paid for issue.

The company, however, said they will not comment on whether it will become a free magazine in the future.

A spokesperson added: "It's not surprising there's interest in NME the day before the NME awards, which is a great day in the calendar of a brand that reaches nearly four million music fans every week. It's a demonstration of that passion for the NME that makes it subject to speculation and we don't comment on speculation."