Copenhagen (IFN) Icelandic media company Dagsbrun will Friday launch Nyhedsavisen, Denmark's fifth free daily newspaper, marking the company's first foray into the already crowded Danish market.
The move is expected to step up competition in the already saturated market, bring down advertising prices and may even lead to papers pinching advertisers from television.
The new title will be delivered to households free early in the morning, which could pose problems for the serious broadsheet newspapers distributed in the same manner.
In Denmark, the newspaper market is dominated by the two broadsheets Jyllandsposten and Berlingske Tidene, published by JP/Politiken and Berlingske Officin, which is owned by the U.K.'s Mecom Group PLC.
When news of Dagsbrun's planned free sheet was unveiled in the summer, in a bid to keep their hold on readers, JP/Politiken and Berlingske Officin rushed to launch their own papers, which are also delivered to the house early in the morning.
Berlingske's free paper Dato and JP/Politiken A/S' 24Timer, which were launched within days of each other in August, both planned to reach 750,000 readers a day. However, the first reader statistics from September show that Dato only reached 155,000 readers per day and 24Timer 387,000 readers.
Since 2001, Denmark has also had two free daily newspapers that are distributed on public transport, Metro International's (MTOAF) MetroXpress, which in 2005 was profitable with an operating margin of 19%, and Urban, also owned by Berlingske Officin.
Despite this heavily saturated market, in a country with a population of 5.4 million, Nyhedsavisen estimates it will reach one million readers, with a circulation of 500,000 copies and an average of two readers per newspaper.
About 3.5 million Danes, or 77% of the total population reads at least one newspaper each day. On average people read two newspapers per day.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires
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