Evening Standard converts to free

After 180 years London’s Evening Standard will become a free daily on October 12. Circulation will be increased from 250,000 to 600,000 copies, with the option to increase that further to 750,000 by the end of the year.

The fate of free evening paper London Lite, the near-monopolist after the closure of thelondonpaper two weeks ago, is still uncertain, but it will very ,likely merge with The Evening Standard, meaning in fact that it will be closed down as the former paid brand seems to be stronger.

Russian ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev bought 75% of the ES in January, 25% is still owned by Associated Newspapers, the owner of London Lite. “The London Evening Standard is the first leading quality newspaper to go free and I am sure others will follow,” Lebedev told The Guardian.

In August the Evening Standard had a circulation of 236,000, 51% of that already being handed out for free, which makes the move somewhat less revolutionary.

One Response to “Evening Standard converts to free”

  1. Mark Littlewood Says:

    It is not such a great surprise.

    For most publishers, newsstand sales are a very small part of their revenue. We had a great discussion about this earlier in the week at our Future of Publishing Discussion Dinner. Thought you might be interested in some of the thoughts of other publishers. http://thebln.com/2009/10/why-free-is-no-big-deal-for-the-evening-standard/