Springer kicks the no-free habit

Germany publisher Axel Springer, one of the most outspoken adversaries of free newspapers, is reversing its strategy and is launching the free weekly Berliner Morgenpost Wochenend-Extra on 20 September.

The paper will be distributed in the Berlin area by Deutsche Post, a party long regarded by Springer as a mortal enemy because of it own plans to launch free newspapers.

Berliner Morgenpost Wochenend-Extra will have a circulation of one million and will contain articles from last week’s Berliner Morgenpost, the paid Berlin paper by Springer.

The fact that Springer is losing young readers with their paid papers – also with flagship Bild Zeitung – is probably the cause of the paradigm shift, or “tabubruch” according to the Financial Times Deutschland.

Springer’s director Mathias Döpfner wants to interest readers for the paid Morgenpost by giving them something for free as an ‘appetizer’. This strategy, however, never worked anywhere in the world (why would you buy something you can get for free too?).

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