Free Newspapers Crumple And Fold As Ads Go Cold

Some fantastic research by Hogeschool Utrecht researcher Piet Bakker shows you exactly when the momentum switched from free to paid

Despite booming in the prior decade, freesheet newspapers started disappearing in 2008, causing their 2009 circulation to sink 12 percent globally and 18 percent in Europe, Bakker’s circulation survey shows…

They only have themselves to blame, of course – in many markets during the good days, rival publishers launched freebies simply to corner the once-attractive advertising market and kill each other off.

But scratch London Lite, Thelondonpaper and Manchester Evening News’ short-lived freebie off that list in the UK; and plenty more elsewhere – though no freesheets closed between 1995 and 1999, 154 around the world have shut since then, Bakker says; that’s nearly half all those launched.

There are now 210, the London Evening Standard going free last year in what was now a rare addition to the free fold as publishers look for more bankable income than advertising…

Read the full report at Newspaper Innovation.