In London, two former execs from the Swedish Metro free paper started a daily freebie targeted at finance, and the Guardian reports that City AM will be distributing more copies than the paid circulation of the Financial Times by year end. The niche freebie strategy makes some sense. In New York, you could tackle the financial markets with geographic ease and advertisers will follow. A free sports daily would get audience; not sure about the advertising. There already are free entertainment weeklies; they used to be called alternative papers. I could see lifestyle weeklies with food, home, parenting, and other content and endemic ads. Unlike City AM, whose only digital outlet is a podcast, I’d have online, audio, and mobile components for each. And so, voila, you’ve created the custom newspaper company: take the sections you want, in the medium you want with lower physical costs and greater advertising efficiency and greater advertising revenue since the guys with the money still put more money into print. Of course, there’s no circulation revenue and, yes, these are smaller and liter and won’t support big newsrooms. But hey, don’t blame me. Blame the Swedes.
: UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter, I corrected the first sentence above; they’re not now but predict they will beat FT paid circ.