Swiss free circulation declines

In Switzerland, one of the few European countries with a sharp rising circulation of free newspapers during the last years, circulation is declining somewhat when the end of 2008 is compared to 2007.

Responsible are the two newbies on the scene: .ch – launched in September 2007 – and News (Basler Zeitung, Berner Zeitung, Tages-Anzeiger) – launched two months later.

When .ch was relaunched in October 2008 with a new design, circulation was downsized from 430,000 to 370,000. Household distribution was stopped altogether.

When News closed the Mittelland edition in the beginning of December, the publisher said the circulation of 334,000 would be unaffected because the other editions would increase their distribution. But according to the new 2009 rate card, circulation is now 300,000.

Because both 20 Minuten/Minutes and Le Matin Bleu increased circulation, total circulation of free dailies in Switzerland only declined with 50,000 copies. The circulation of .ch and News is still unaudited.

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