The Independent’s compact sister paper ‘i’ celebrated its 1st birthday on 26th October, sporting an “i am one” badge on its front cover.
It could be said the newspaper has had a year to be proud of, with a winning formula of concise news coverage, sport, opinion, features and arts – all within 56 easily accessible pages. The title has proved to be something of a success with readers too, having overtaken both The Independent and closing in on The Guardian.
The first ABC audited figure for i came in January 2011 at 133,472 copies, with the latest figures showing the paper has seen an increase in circulation of 27.62per cent in the last nine months (184,402 copies October) – all of which shows it is a title that is still going from strength to strength in a difficult marketplace.
Before its release, The Independent faced a lot of harsh criticism for i, yet it remained confident and never doubted itself. Chairman Evgeny Lebedev wrote a message to readers to mark the anniversary, saying: “We’re conclusive proof that, with a bit of imagination, there is a future for printed news.”
Further proof i was delivering what readers wanted could be seen in the launch of the first Saturday edition of the paper, which went on sale on 7th May and is rumored to now sell more copies each week than its Friday to Monday counterpart.
MEC Opinion: Lebedev has shown his commitment to the launch of i from day one. The first burst of marketing activity cost around £400k and generated interest through a variety of media including outdoor, radio, POS and sampling with the Evening Standard. This was followed by a second burst of activity costing around £2m and encompassing radio, TV, Press and below the line activity.
However, the marketing push can only do so much, and it has actually been the innovative editorial style and creation of brave new fixtures and formats like Matrix (which offers readers an at-a-glance overview of the day’s hot topics) that has allowed i a successful entrance into a crowded marketplace.
With its recent introduction on to the TGI survey, showing 943,000 readers, media planners will now have even more reason to include this modern, accessible, quality print product to its schedules.