Fifth Free Daily Hits the Streets in Denmark

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The fifth free newspaper aimed at Danish readers hit the streets on Friday even though a glitch cut its planned print run by half.

Nyhedsavisen was handed out at key traffic points and distributed directly to homes in Denmark’s major cities.

Nyhedsavisen (The News Daily) had a planned circulation of 500,000 but half of them — intended for readers in the Danish capital — failed to be printed because of a technical problem. A smaller number of copies were handed out in Copenhagen while distribution went as planned in Aarhus and Odense, Denmark’s second and third largest cities.

The newest daily arrived in an already saturated market where local media houses have vowed to keep the newcomer at bay.

When Icelandic conglomerate 365 Media Scandinavia earlier this year announced it would issue Nyhedsavisen, Denmark’s two largest media companies scrambled to meet the challenge with free newspapers of their own.

Berlingske Officin, which also publishes several other newspapers including one of Europe’s oldest dailies, Berlingske Tidende, came out first on Aug. 16 with tabloid-size dato (Date). A day later, rival media company JP/Politikens Hus followed with a paper of the same size called 24timer, or 24 hours.

Both free sheets planned to reach 750,000 readers per day but the first reader statistics from September showed that dato only reached 155,000 readers per day and 24Timer was read by 387,000.

In late August, Metro International SA which has been distributing the free metroXpress in Denmark since 2001, quickly introduced a free afternoon newspaper in addition to its morning edition. Besides metroXpress, Denmark already has another free daily newspaper, Urban, published by the Berlingske Officin.

The free sheets come on top of the existing paid-for dailies. Denmark’s newspaper market is dominated by the Politiken, Jyllands-Posten and Berlingske Tidende newspapers, plus two tabloids Ekstra Bladet and B.T.

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