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THE SIMULTANEOUS RISE AND FALL OF FREE AND PAID NEWSPAPERS IN EUROPE

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Abstract:

Paid dailies in Europe have seen their circulation decline by 14 million between 1995 and 2006. During the same period circulation of free daily newspapers has increased by more than 28 million. This article maps the development of paid and free circulation newspapers in Europe. It then analyses the relation between the two developments to assess whether free newspapers are substituted for paid dailies. The study focuses on all European markets with substantial market shares of free dailies and paid circulation before and after the introduction of free papers is compared. Data from countries without free papers are used to assess how markets without free dailies are affected. Substitution, however, seems to be moderate. The rise of free dailies is better explained by economic factors while the decline of paid circulation is probably related to the availability of other (media) alternatives for new generations.

Keywords: Europe; free newspapers; newspaper circulation; substitution

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17512780802281164

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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