Gaste after nine months

Ahmet Pandir, chief revenue officer of Turkish free daily Gaste, launched in February 2008, talked on the Madrid free paper conference last week about what led to the launch of the first free Turkish paper and also about its future.

In Turkey the Dogan group is controlling 40% of the newspaper circulation and 60% of the ad revenues in the country. Most newspapers in Turkey look very much alike, with a rather cluttered design and with a very political, ideologic, mostly right-wing content.

Only the daily Zaman, with a more ‘quality’ design and approach, differs from most papers. Although there are many papers available, newspaper readership is very low in Turkey.

On 11 February 2008, Gaste launched with 500,000 copies, handed out by more than 1000 distributors. Streets with a higher income population were selected. Distribution was at street junctions, to cars at traffic lights and in boxes.

In design Gaste looks very different from most other Turkish papers, with different fonts, different colors and a different format. Gaste wanted a high visibility on streets, also in racks and in shops. Therefore Gaste is also sponsoring events and festivals. By distributing on bikes, sampling, using inserts, selling ad space on racks the paper wants to increase visibility even more.

The Dogan group reacted with 20DK – 20 minutes – which looked more like the other papers from the group. Although mr. Pandir said the quality of the competitor was less than that of his own paper, he also said that the move indeed confused the public and media agencies.

Gaste now distributes around 300,000 copies, competitor 20DK distributes 100,000 copies less according to mr. Pandir. Both papers started with 500,000 copies. There are, however, no audited data available yet.

Gaste wants to expand distribution by using more racks in shops, 300 more to start with. In the next years the paper wants to expand to 5 new markets, with Ankara and Izmir first on the list.

One Response to “Gaste after nine months”

  1. Newspaper Innovation » Blog Archive » Turkey’s free Gaste closed down Says:

    [...] The paper had an (unaudited) circulation of 300,000 according to the publisher. (see previous post) [...]