The London Evening Standard attracts 1.4m readers

LONDON - The London Evening Standard has recorded a debut average issue readership of 1.37m since it became a free newspaper, according to figures from the National Readership Survey (NRS) today (3 February).

Front cover of London Evening Standard in October
Front cover of London Evening Standard in October

The London paper worked with the NRS to secure an early readership estimate as it looks to enhance its status as a quality free newspaper within the advertising community.

The audited period runs from the period October 12 to December 31 2009.

The flagship London title, owned by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, discarded its 50p cover price in October last year, and upped its 250,000 circulation to a distribution nearer 600,000.

The latest data reveals around 2.3 people read each copy, with a substantial bias to male readers - 878,000 compared to 491,000 women.

There are no meaningful year-on-year comparisons for the London Evening Standard but when the title was still a paid for product between April and September 2009, it recorded an average readership of less than half today's figure, 556,000.

News International’s now defunct free evening title thelondonpaper, which had a distribution of around 500,000, achieved a lower NRS figure of 1.1m in the year ending June 2009.

Jon O’Donnell, advertising director at The London Evening Standard, said: "We are delighted with the numbers as they are higher than we had expected but absolutely in line with our aims."

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