Monday, October 22, 2007

Free dailies turn nonreaders into readers

A New York Times story today about a new paid paper in Spain has some interesting insights about that country's free daily newspaper market. The new paper is named Público, which is hoping to reach young, left-leaning readers who are apparently underserved in that country. Here are three paragraphs from the story by Victoria Burnett:
    "Freesheets, rather than stealing market share in Spain, have been converting nonreaders into readers, filling a gap left by the lack of Spanish tabloids. Circulation of freesheets has shot from one million to about five million in the past five years, according to the World Association of Newspapers.

    "This is partly because newspaper readership in Spain -- a country of conversationalists who crowd sidewalk cafés and village squares -- is among the lowest in Europe. The country's three main national newspapers, El País, ABC and El Mundo, do not sell a million copies between them.

    "Figures from the World Association of Newspapers show that about four million newspapers were sold each day last year in Spain, which has a population of about 40 million, compared with nearly double that number in France, where the population is about 60 million."
Spain has three healthy free dailies led by the 2.3-million circulation "20 Minutos" which began in the publisher's basement six years ago and last year became the country's largest circulation paper. Half the papers distributed in Spain are free.