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Monday, May 02, 2005

More threats to the commuter newspaper market

To put it simply, it's getting harder and harder for publishers to sell newspapers to rush hour commuters. Despite its official status as a paid-daily, about 65,000 out of 80,000 copies of Chicago's tabloid style Red Eye are handed out for free at subway stations, reports Chicago Reader. Giving the youth-focused paper away yields higher circulation which in turn allows it to charge more for advertising. Newspapers and their distributers are feeling the crunch. Some kiosks, used to selling 500 papers a day, have seen their sales plummet to 100 copies. In trying to regain their sales, Windy City vendors have implemented promotions such as seducing readers to buy a major daily and turn in their Red Eye in exchange for a free cup of coffee.

We may also be witnessing the end of taxi commuter newspaper readers according to Telematics Journal. Cab companies in London, New York, Australia, and China have been installing high resolution, flat screen televisions for their passengers that play major news and entertainment channels. After being forced to watch a number of advertisements, former newspaper readers are free to browse television stations with the control pads on either side of the taxi. Advertisers such as Virgin Atlantic and Nokia have already jumped on the taxi TV bandwagon taking more business from newspapers.

Sources: Chicago Reader, Telematics Journal

Posted by john burke on May 2, 2005 at 11:18 AM in e. Compact vs. broadsheet, h. Young readers / New readers, m. Improving editorial quality, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink

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