Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A quarter of free dailies serve small towns

To many in the media, free dailies are a big city phenomena. But Henry E. Scott, former U.S. group publisher of Metro International and now interim director of the new North American Free Daily Newspaper Association, has done a survey showing a quarter of free dailies are in small towns.

Editor & Publisher has a report on the survey. Scott said that he sent out the survey to 60 free dailies and received 19 responses. While not comprehensive, it gives a small snapshot of the landscape.

Bullet points from the survey include:
    • 16 free dailies have a distribution of 100,001 or more copies; 11 have circulations ranging from 50,001 to 100,000; 19 have circulations ranging from 10,001 to 50,000; and 14 have circulations of up to 10,000.

    • Nearly one-third of free dailies are aimed at 18- to- 34-year old adults

    • The average free daily employs 29 people

    • 61% of free dailies distribute 95% or more of their copies

    • 61% of free dailies do their own distribution while 39% outsource delivery

    • More than half of all free dailies own their own presses

    • National advertising accounts for 13% of advertising revenue. The Newspaper National Network represents about 11%
Perhaps the most surprising thing in the E&P article is that a free daily association has already been formed. There has been talk of creating such an association for months. It will be interesting to see where Scott takes it from here.