A tale of two papers (and one owner)

spits_fransHaving two competing papers can be a burden for an owner. Especially when it concerns free dailies, as these papers are in direct competition with each other.

No matter how different they are, when distribution is similar (through public transport), the audience will be the same and therefore papers will compete.

Recently Tamedia (MetroXpres) closed 24timer, its second free daily in Denmark. Earlier also in Finland (Sanoma) and Switzerland (Tamedia) publishers closed competing free dailies.

In countries like Iceland, Ireland and the Czech Republic publishers of free papers merged and almost immediately closed one title.

In the Netherlands TMG owns both free dailies Metro and Spits. It tried to distinguish the titles by having Spits focusing on entertainment (and a young audience) and the other (Metro) on news and a more mature audience.

TMG also introduced a earlier printing time for Spits (20:15, as news was not that urgent) and lowered the circulation. The publisher now announced that it would move from hand distribution to distribution through boxes for Spits.

In Portugal (Metro and Destak, Cofina) and Italy (Metro and DNews, Litosud) two free dailies are owned by the same publisher.

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