The Evening Standard today raised it’s price to 50p – ahead of tomorrow’s launch of new free daily London Lite.
It is be believed to be part of a fightback strategy against News International’s new free daily thelondonpaper, which centres around distancing the Standard from London’s new freesheets as a premium product.
It will also provide much-needed cash to fund Associated Newspapers' free newspaper war against News International.
Judging by previous free newspaper launches – such as Metro and City AM – London Lite could take years to move into profit, if it is a success.
Going on net paid-for circulation of the Evening Standard – the 10p price rise will raise around £6 million in gross annual circulation revenue.
Associated Newspapers’ London Lite has already scored its first major scoop by hitting the streets of London ahead of NI’s thelondonpaper.
A few thousands copies of London Lite came out on Friday, and a further test run is expected to be carried out today – ahead of Wednesday’s full launch.
NI’s thelondonpaper is expected to launch on Monday.
Both papers are to have a distribution of 400,000 and are being targeted at young professionals.