Monday, January 22, 2007

NEWSPAPERS://Another free paper to hit the Dutch market

Tomorrow a new free daily will hit the Dutch market, simply called Dagblad De Pers ('Daily The Press'). Obviously, they couldn't claim the 'De Pers' name for being too generic.

I posted before on this paper. The main characteristics are:
  • Vis-à-vis existing freebies (Metro and Telegraaf's Spits): De Pers will be a 'quality' paper with more extensive distribution, i.e. not exclusively on public transportation (railway stations), but at 'retail, petrol and office' as well. In fact, my employer will allow the De Pers guys to drop of a bunch of papers every day. It seems that the people over at Telegraaf and Metro are pretty nervous over the new entrant. Metro has just made a smart move: they secured a deal with retailer Super de Boer (300 locations), which will extend their circulation to 535k (from 430k). On the other hand, Metro lost the exclusive right to distribute through railway stations, and it is rumoured that De Pers has already moved in at a cost of 1.2m EUR/annum.
  • Vis-à-vis subscription papers: De Pers obviously has the advantage of having an advertising-based business model, but it has a substantial number of negatives: no door-to-door distribution, no weekend edition, no brand recognition (even worse: despite its ambition to be a 'quality' newspaper, being free puts it in the low quality Metro/Spits market). Originally, entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn (who made his fortune buying Telfort for EUR 25m and selling it to KPN for almost a billion) planned the paper as a joint venture with PcM (which publishes a set of quality newspapers, including NRC, Trouw and Volkskrant, combined circulation 720k). PcM changed its mind (Boekhoorn is now trying to squeeze some funds from PcM for exiting discussions at a late stage), but now appears to be interested in starting its own free paper.

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