No. 3 in a 67-part series: Austria – the odd one out

heute 2015Free newspaper circulation tends to decline in Europe. In seven countries free newspapers have disappeared, in most of the remaining countries the number of titles has dropped while circulation went down.

But not in Austria. Since the launch of the first free daily in 2001 (U-Express) the country saw a rise in titles and circulation in 2006, the closure of three titles in 2008 and 2009 but a rise in circulation from 2009 on.

Responsible for the rise are Heute and Österreich. The first with three editions and a circulation of more than 600,000 in 2014; the second distributes more than 400,000 free copies in addition to their paid circulation – in six editions. The third remaining free is TT Kompakt, a free edition of the Tiroler Tageszeitung with a circulation of 12,000.

Heute is attached by family-ties to the market leader in Austria, Kronen Zeitung. Eva Dichand is director of the free daily, her husband Christoph is publishing the paid paper. No official ties as German publisher WAZ, 50%-owner of Kronen, does not approve of free papers. Heute is often accused of relying heavily of government or government-related advertising (roads, housing, parties, public transport – as a results of political ties) while it is also unclear which financial parties are behind the publisher.

Österreich is published by Wolfgang Fellner, a long-standing enemy of all other Austrian publishers.

Austrian paid circulation is under 2 million, meaning that almost 40% of the circulation in 2014 was free.


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One Response to “No. 3 in a 67-part series: Austria – the odd one out”

  1. Newspaper Innovation » Blog Archive » Free newspaper war looms in Austria Says:

    [...] More on Austria in an earlier post on Newpsaper Innovation. [...]