As a slimmed down afternoon version of its evening sibling, Standard Lite is a pretty good deal – especially as it’s free.
For the effort of picking one up during their lunch break, readers get short news reads, an entertainment guide, TV listings, sport and lots of easily digestible celebrity stories and all available with the same effort as picking up sister title Metro.
Similarities between the paid for and the freebie are huge and with the exception of page difference, there really is not that much you could distinguish them.
Which begs the question as to how the Standard Lite will attract readers to the Evening Standard when they have basically read most of the product already?
The answer is they probably won't but with the Standard Lite's emphasis on celebrity based stories, it is probably going to gain younger female readers, an audience which the Evening Standard hasn’t traditionally enjoyed.
Gaining readers is no doubt high on Associated's priorities, November's ABCs showed the London title down 10% compared to the same period last year. It now sells 370,832 copies a day, of which 40,000 are bulk copies.
However while the title may help to add some numbers to its overall ABCs it could turn out to be a double edged sword for Associated with agencies already expressing concern about the possible change in profile of the Standard reader and potential rate card hikes.
By Sheelagh Doyle
This article was first published on Media Week