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Fight for freesheet power looms in London

City AM has proved itself a remarkably good free paper with a distribution of well over 80,000 before it is two years old and aiming for the 100,000 by the end of the year according to Media Guardian. By carefully selecting its distribution points in the City of London and Canary Wharf it has a targeted audience which is demonstrated in the quality of advertising it is attracting.

It has also shown that you don’t have to succeed you don’t need a contract with London Transport to distribute inside tube stations. Media Guardian reports that City AM is expecting to overtake the FT’s full price sales in Britain and Ireland by the end of the year.

Its distribution model is working and that is likely to make the forthcoming battle of the frees in London more interesting. Metro — nothing to do with the Swedish-owned international brand — has built its success on distribution points inside tube stations.

With an afternoon contract for distribution in tube stations and a mainline stations deal currently being considered, there is bound to be an interesting battle in London.

News International has registered thelondonpaper as a title and is believed to be ready to go ahead whether or not it wins transport station contracts, says Media Week.

It could be a fight. Recently, in Valencia, Spain, I was handed four different free morning papers on one street corner. They can’t all be making money but powerful backers seem to think it is worth the risk.

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