London Free Newspapers Battle for Commuters' Attention

05 September 2006

LONDON: The UK capital's hard-pressed commuters are facing yet another ordeal - the dizzying choice of free newspapers - as the city becomes a battleground for the nation's major publishers.

Yesterday saw the arrival of thelondonpaper, the latest afternoon freebie, from News International, owner of The Times and redtop tabloid The Sun.

It is following hard on the heels of last week's launch by Associated Newspapers of London Lite, devised by the publisher as a spoiler for the NI effort.

Both companies are hoping for daily circulations of around 400,000 as distributors outside the city's subway stations and other central locations thrust the titles into the hands of passing workers and shoppers.

The launches bring to five the number of dedicated newspapers available to Londoners. In addition to the upstarts are the well-established paid-for Evening Standard and morning freebie Metro, both published by Associated, plus City AM, the brainchild of two former execs at Swedish newspaper publisher Metro International.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff