Saturday, October 31, 2009

Advertising slump is killing off free newspapers

THREE YEARS ago, the world seemed a sunnier place, and the best things in media life were free: free websites, but also free newspapers, with Metro International spanning the globe and London suddenly knee deep in a million free copies of evening papers. Learned commentators proclaimed free the shape of things to come.

But (mostly) forget it. Metro International is losing pots of cash. Freesheets across Europe and America are dying. Advertising recessions are poison when your only revenue stream comes from ads. And evening papers, in particular, present all manner of killer distribution problems.

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