Earlier this year, we noted that while many newspaper execs were complaining about "free," the owners of the London Evening Standard had decided to make their paper copy free
and that had resulted in much greater circulation and
(importantly) lower distribution costs. Part of the issue was that the paper stopped distributing to certain newsstands and newsagents as just not being worth it. Yet, as reader mowgs
points out, some of those newsagents so badly want the paper -- even if it's free -- that they're now paying the newspaper to carry it
, even while giving it away for free:
The Evening Standard editor, Geordie Greig, said today that the paper had been besieged by inquiries from newsagents wanting to stock the paper as a way to attract customers, even though they were no longer paid a commission.
"What has happened is that entrepreneurial London has taken over. Little companies have got together and have decided to distribute the Standard in little places we decided we couldn't afford to go to," Greig told the BBC Radio 4 Media Show.
"We used to pay a large commission to newsagents to sell the Standard. We now have dozens of newsagents paying us 2p a copy to have copies in their shop ... which they then give away," he said.
Separately, he noted that the rise in ad revenue to the paper has been dramatic, and that they're making two to three times as much in ad revenue on certain days. But, you know, it's "impossible" to support journalism while giving away the content for "free." Rupert Murdoch says so.