Pick-up rate: mX

One of the possible signs of the popularity of free newspapers is the ‘pick-up’ rate: how many papers are picked up and how soon do they find their way to the readers. Dividing readership by the number of copies is another good measure.

In respect to the recent discussion about readership a news item on Mark Fletcher’s Australian Newsagency Blog caught my attention. In the discussion, one of the possible reasons for a low readership of mX I mentioned was a low pick-up rate. Mark (who wrote on this subject earlier) does not seem to think so:

I watched the distribution of MX, the free daily newspaper from News Ltd in Sydney late today. Most people walk up to collect the paper – it is sought after. It is fascinating watching this from a newsagents perspective. I bet that half the newsagents in Australia don’t know about the MX success on the Eastern Seaboard. Good on News Ltd, MX is an excellent success story.

It’s only one observation of course (although there’s another one in the comments), but Fletcher is not employed by a free newspaper. On the contrary, owning a news agency himself, he would probably prefer everybody walking in to his store buying newspapers. (The picture, however, is pr-material, probably lifted from the mX-Brisbane launch movie that is no longer online – I found it on free-daily.com)

With this little piece of knowledge added, the low readership data might indeed be caused by the way readership is measured.

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