London print battle goes digital

News International will take to the web in its London war with Associated Newspapers, launching an online version of the new metropolitan freesheet it hopes will scupper Metro and the Evening Standard

DMGT’s Associated group on Wednesday announced it would respond to News International’s plan to debut thelondonpaper next month by replacing its Standard Lite title with a free London Lite publication.

The publisher re-launched the Standard’s This Is London website this week after recently redesigning the paper, claiming the online revamp “will provide the capital with the most up-to-date entertainment information and news 24 hours a day”.

New features include the ability to add your own ratings and reviews and a What’s On Today/Tomorrow section.

But News International told it will also be launching an online version of thelondonpaper, indicating the commercial newsprint rivalry in the capital will also play out on the net.

“Thelondonpaper will simultaneously be launching website; it will be entertainment-focused,” a company spokesperson said on Thursday. That domain name was registered by News International on February 22.

Launched in 1998, ThisIsLondon claims 1.3 million unique users per month; its fresh new design includes improved listings. Metro’s website, too, is heavily slanted toward the entertainment news now targeted by