The Independent made another step forward in the preservation of the print media today when it announced that it is to launch a cut-price daily national newspaper called i.
It will will launch as a spin-off version of main newspaper, with a cover price of just 20p, in a bid to target “readers and lapsed readers of quality newspapers”.
What they’ve tapped into is the fact that commuters especially, a) may well have little time to read a full-size newspaper cover-to-cover on a daily basis, and b) are unlikely to want to pay the £1 cover price when the likes of The London Evening Standard and City AM are going for free.
Something that readers are likely to appreciate with i is the quality of journalism that they will find under the journalism banner compared with that of, perhaps, The Metro. In that vein, a statement from The Independent reassured that it would combine “intelligence with brevity, and depth with speed of reading, providing an essential daily briefing.”
On the subject of the future of the priting presses, Evgeny Lebedev, chairman of the owner of The Independent (Independent Print Ltd), said: “My father (Alexander Lebedev) and I believe that a free press is a fundamental tool of a democracy, and we believe that newspapers still have a future, and a very important one. We have shown by our investment in the London Evening Standard that, even in these highly competitive times, it is possible to revive a brand, and we aim to do the same with The Independent by the launch of i and the improvements to the parent paper.”
The Independent’s managing director, Andrew Mullins, added: “Quality newspapers provide a highly valuable audience for advertisers, but recently print circulations have been in decline and the average age of the audience has been increasing. Time-poor newspaper readers, and especially commuters, have been telling us for years that they are inundated with information and just don’t have the time to read a quality newspaper on a regular basis. We are creating a newspaper for the 21st century that is designed for people who have a thirst for information and entertainment in the limited time that they have available. i is a reader-led newspaper with broad reach and intelligence.”
The Independent newspaper itself meanwhile is undergoing a redesign and will stay priced at £1.
Gemma Carey, Bluewood Training Ltd – media and presentation training