A Free Newspaper Passes the Post

From Reuters yesterday evening:

Metro US, the leading free daily newspaper, has become the 5th largest circulated newspaper in the country according to newly released circulation statistics. With a US circulation of 590,553 daily copies according to the most recent Certified Audit of Circulation report, Metro US newspaper (New York, Philadelphia, and Boston) has effectively pulled ahead of the Washington Post to reach this position.

Washingtonian’s have the Express, so they may not be completely familiar with Metro, but its functionally the same and has reach in a few extra cities.  Here’s where it gets interesting, save the Wall Street Journal, most of the paid dailies experienced serious declines when it came to their circulation numbers. Even bolstered by its hotel livelihood, USA Today dropped to number two. Look at these stats (based on Audit Bureau of Circulations information):

Top 6 US Dailies

It’s not just that Metro is now number five. It’s that, for the most part, these other papers are free falling around it and, as a free daily, the circulation isn’t necessarily changing. There’s minimal overhead to produce a 20-page, free weekday micropaper – after all, wire stories are still cheaper than staff writers – and it isn’t unlikely that the advertising model could continue to support it because the audience is known and probably more homogeneous.

Wait a second. Homogeneous audiences, low overhead, borrowed news stories, free to the reader and supported by ads. Sounds like a blog!

Kidding, but only a little. There’s no inbound links.

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