Friday, July 28, 2006

Free dailies hurt paid papers in Hong Kong

The South Morning China Post reports that three free dailies in Hong Kong, along with two paid Chinese-language dailies, are eating into the advertising revenues of that city's biggest newspapers. (Note that the story gives figures in Hong Kong Dollars which are trading at about 7.8 for every U.S. dollar.) The city's No. 1 newspaper, the Oriental Daily News, saw its revenues plunge 10 percent to HK$2.02 billion ($259 million U.S.). But the three free papers combined HK$774 million ($99 million U.S.) or 10 percent of all newspaper advertising dollars in the first half, according to Nielsen. Compare that with their combined HK$572 million ($73 million U.S.) of revenue or a 6.4 percent share in the preceding six months.

    Of the three:

    • Metro, HK$342 million ($44 million U.S.), up 8% over same six months last year

    • Headline Daily (owned by Sing Tao), HK$221 million ($28 million U.S.), up 90% over same period last year

    • Am730 (owned by property-agency magnate Shih Wing-ching), HK$211 million ($27 million), up 50% over same period last year

[Jan. 27: Hong Kong free daily Am730 closer to profit] [Jan. 26: Ads grow at Hong Kong's 3 free dailies]