Hong Kong Newspaper Takes Gamble on Free Distribution – Donald Greenlees

The story reminds us of an old question: will newspapers die one day? From the International Herald Tribune:

In an age of proliferating free news on the Internet, The Standard, a 58-year-old English-language daily newspaper, took a gamble Monday that underscores the challenges facing print publications everywhere. It joined the growing ranks of the free newspaper.

On ferry piers, subway stations and street corners of this bustling financial center, distributors gave away an initial print run of 120,000 copies of The Standard, almost tripling its last paid-circulation run and outperforming a major rival, The South China Morning Post

While the Internet has eroded readership and advertising revenue for newspapers in markets worldwide, few publications have as badly or suddenly fallen victim to the Web than The Standard. It is one of the few examples of a paid newspaper anywhere in the world that has decided to test free distribution.[Full Text]

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