The London Evening Standard is considering increasing its free distribution but has yet to take a final decision.
Speculation has been rife in the industry that the Standard would increase its current weekday distribution of 600,000 to 800,000 or even 1m.
Doug Wills, the Standard’s managing editor, told the Guardian that an increase was possible later next year – however he was unable to say what the increased distribution might be.
“There won’t be any increase in January but there are certainly options for later in the year. It’s not been decided. There is no formal plan for the beginning of the year,” he said.
The Standard went free in October, dropping its 50p cover price to increase its daily distribution as it slashed distribution costs from 30p a copy to just 4p by making the paper mainly available outside tube and train stations for homeward-bound commuters.
However, it angered many who are now unable to get a copy of the paper outside the city centre. As a result the Standard has cut deals with a number of newsagents in north London who are now able to reserve copies – that scheme is set to expand.