According to Rome ad trade insiders, the advent of daily freesheet Metro, launched in July, is already beginning to hit the city’s established newspapers and could force them to cut cover prices – currently ranging between 59 US cents and $1.46.

Metro, published by London-headquartered Modern Times Group, is unrelated to the UK title of the same name – which is owned by the Daily Mail & General Trust.

The Rome paper features local and international news in Italian, and also includes a special two-page English-language section targeting the city’s massive tourist influx. It is distributed at stations on Rome's two subways lines and at major bus stops.

Claiming a weekly circulation of about 350,000, Metro is already attracting sufficient ad revenues to cover its costs and is the most widely distributed daily in Rome. Says one anonymous Roman adman: "It's an ideal vehicle for reaching tourists and the large part of Rome's permanent population that relies on mass transit."

Swedish-owned Metro is published in nineteen other European cities. Based on its success in Rome, Modern Times says it is considering a Milan edition.

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily