German Post plans shaping up

If all plans for free dailies in Germany would have come true, the largest European newspaper market would have been flooded with them. But in fact, none of the plans materialized so far.

Deutsche Post has been thinking about a free daily since one year (see previous post). The German mail already delivered a free weekly (see previous post) and was thinking about another one covering the online world ‘Online Aktuell’. This weekly never saw the light of day but it angered German publishers very much.

Between the two not much love was lost after publishers WAZ, Holtzbrinck and Axel Springer started their own postal service PIN. In 2007 Springer bought the majority of the shares in 2007 for more than €500m – they seem to be almost worthless now.

With the plans for a free daily, Deutsche Post is more careful, Jürgen Gerdes, chief of the mail-division “wouldn’t dream of starting something like that without the consent or cooperation of German publishers” according to Financial Times Deutschland.

FTD reveals that Deutsche Post actually has approached all major German publishers with their plans for a free daily, delivered by Deutsche Post (and maybe saving some of the PIN money as well).

Fast declining circulation and readership in Germany might be the cause for renewed interest of all parties in a free newspaper project, before some foreign publisher would dare to invade the country.

FTD cites ‘informed sources’ who state that it would take at least six years for a German project to break even, and that such an operation would costs €400m at least.

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