A Story of Free Gone Wrong

Chris Anderson’s blog tells the tale of a free newspaper war in Denmark and the consequences of it.
Short form: the attempt by a half-dozen newspaper publishers to “out-free” a free Icelandic paper that entered the market ended up costing the collective newspaper industry in Denmark more than $150 million dollars and the bankruptcy of three newspapers.

On October 6 2006 “Nyhedsavisen”, a new Danish daily newspaper hit the streets. A quality newspaper staffed with 100 journalists and ambitions of being the largest Danish newspaper with a daily circulation of between 500,000 and 1 million readers (total Danish population equals some 5.5 million). The newspaper would feature an editorial mix prioritizing both prize-winning critical journalism and stories close to the everyday life of ordinary Danes.

The pricing of Nyhedsavisen was simple: it was free. And, as something entirely new: it was going to be delivered to the homes of all Danes – at no cost. Not only the newspaper itself was free, delivery was free as well. It was in effect “double-free”.

Nyhedsavisen thereby aimed to compete with the entire existing Danish newspaper industry, including the three large nationwide dailies Berlingske Tidende, Politiken and Jyllandsposten, the two nationwide tabloid-papers Ekstra Bladet and BT and the existing free daily newspapers delivered through public transportation or handed out on the streets, MetroXpress and (Berlingske owned) Urban.

And all of these took the threat seriously, and decided to fight the intruder in an attempt to defend their position on the Danish media market.

And this is what happened

Image Source: Alex Barth


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DISCLAIMER :Everything here is the personal opinions of the authors and is not read or approved by pratham books before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here