Alibris Hot off the Press Standard

Metro eyeing Windsor market (con't)

But since entering Canada in 2000 it now has separate city editions in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax.

The publication with the green logo incorporating a globe is given away in front of subway stations and at busy intersections.

But it also is available from street newspaper boxes, convenience stores and office buildings.

The publication actually started in Sweden in 1995 and now is published in over 200 cities worldwide.

It’s aimed at “high-traffic commuter zones and public transport networks.”

It especially targets a traditionally “very hard-to-reach audience – young (in age or spirit), active, well-educated, urban, professionals,” according to marketing materials.

Windsor at first might not seem to be an ideal site for the publication because it doesn’t have a strong downtown core with lots of pedestrians nor an extensive transit system well used by commuters.

But McDonald said those aren’t the only factors that go into making a decision about where to locate the newspaper.

He said neither Halifax nor Winnipeg have light rail rapid transit systems.

Halifax – the smallest of the cities in which Metro publishes - has a population of 285,000.

“We are looking at cities that are of fewer – lower populations –than Halifax,” McDonald said.

He said “key” elements Metro looks for is the size of the 19-to-49 age group, and the “economic viability” of a daily newspaper, especially one that will seek considerable local advertising.

“Is there a strong retail advertising base? Is there a strong local business community? Strong chamber of commerce? Strong business improvement areas, those kinds of things.”

Metro is also looking at Saskatoon with a population of just 225,000.

Metro targets young educated people with active lifestyles who are more prone to reading news on their laptops and phones than from traditional newspapers, though that isn’t Metro’s exclusive audience.

And even if a city didn’t have a post-secondary institution McDonald said “it’s not beyond the realm of possibility” for Metro to locate there.

He said Metro’s planners do consider how many people use the transit system and how busy is the city’s downtown core.

But even those factors aren’t set in stone.

“If it’s not a strong downtown core are there large pockets of employment that are accessible, are there large factories, large office buildings, business parks,” he said.

Metro is given away by newspaper “ambassadors” who often give away other “commercial partner” products such as sample boxes of fruit juice or cereal.

McDonald said Metro has had “in some ways dramatic” impact on traditional newspapers that have long been the only daily in a city.

“And it’s been ensconced in the community for many many years – in some cases many decades like the daily newspaper in Windsor has been – and they’re not as used to this type of competition.”

He said that makes the market “more challenging for them because of that; we take away some readers.”

But, McDonald said, “We consider ourselves demographically to be targeted very differently.

"A traditional broadsheet newspaper tends to have more of an appeal to a slightly more mature demographic group.”

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