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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

European free papers up 3.5 million (33%) in first nine months of 2005

Piet Bakker, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam and Free Daily Newspaper guru once again helps out the Editors Weblog with an informative posting on free papers:

Free newspapers in Europe boosted their distribution from 11 million at end 2004 to 14.5 million in September 2005 due to the launch of new titles and editions and increased distribution of existing papers. The increase in the first nine months of 2005 (+33%) was already more than the increase in the whole year 2004 (+20%). New titles were introduced in Spain (Ahora, Que!), Denmark (Xtra), Iceland (Bladid), the UK (MEN Lite, FTpm, City A.M.), Latvia (5Min) and Lithuania (15min) while more editions of existing titles were launched in Portugal (Destak, Metro), France (20 Minutes, Metro), Italy (Metro, Leggo & City), Spain (Metro, 20 Minutos), the Netherlands (Metro) and Switzerland (20 Minuten).


In almost every country existing editions also increased their distribution. The new launches and expansions resulted in distribution growth all over Europe. In Spain distribution of free papers almost doubled to 3.6 million (+98%) while in Iceland circulation grew by 77% to 180.000. But also in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland distributions' increased with 20% or more.

With dropping circulation of paid newspapers, the share of free papers increased dramatically over the last years. In Iceland 76% of newspaper circulation consists of free papers, in Spain almost half (46%) of the circulation is free. Other countries with a major market share of free papers are Italy (30%), Portugal (31%), Greece (27%), Denmark and Sweden (20%), the Netherlands (19%), France, Hungary and Switzerland (17%).

And there is more to come, when free papers are launched in Germany in 2005, distribution will rise with 2.5 million at first and 4 million later. But even without the German launches European distribution will rise to 16 million because there are plans for Ireland (Metro and Herald Metro), the UK (fourth London free paper), the Czech Republic (Swiss publisher Ringier & national Metro edition), Spain (more 20 Minutes editions), Switzerland (Le Blue Matin & 20 Minutes Lausanne/Geneva), Spain (Planeta Group) and Austria (Schibsted, Metro and local publishers). In short: doubling of total free European distribution within one year is very well possible.

Source: Piet Bakker, Free Daily Newspapers

Posted by john burke on September 21, 2005 at 04:11 PM in e. Compact vs. broadsheet, k. Circulation and newspaper launches | Permalink

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