Metro Silicon Valley Launches PDF Download Edition

september 29, 2003  04:43 pm
Metro Newspapers
550 S First Street
San Jose, CA 95113


Contact: Dan Pulcrano 408.200.1301

SAN JOSE, CA.-- Metro Silicon Valley, the San Jose metropolitan area’s largest circulation weekly, has become the first member of its industry to launch a fully downloadable newspaper. Readers can now download all editorial sections at www.MetroPDF.com each Wednesday. The PDF edition is available worldwide without cost, 24 hours a day and includes the Metro’s advertisements, original typography, story layouts and graphics.

“It’s not an HTML web page -- it looks exactly the way a newspaper’s supposed to look,” said Metro Newspapers CEO Dan Pulcrano. “It looks like Metro.”

“In the first several weeks, we’ve had seen people download it from as far away as the Seychelles Islands, the Netherlands -- even New Jersey,” Pulcrano added. “We have many readers inside Silicon Valley’s large technology companies as well. With downloads in the thousands already, it’s clear that there is demand for the Metro beyond what we can fulfill with the newsprint edition.”

Readers can download the full newspaper, or just sections of it, like news, film or music. The pages can be read on-screen or printed to a laser printer. When displayed on a computer monitor, viewers can zoom in on parts of a page to read articles in larger type, search for key words or phrases, or save the file to their hard disk.

“It’s definitely the first alternative newspaper to offer itself in the PDF format,” said Richard Karpel, executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, an association of 123 non-daily free- circulation papers in North America with aggregate circulation of more than 7 million. “Metro has been among the most innovative papers in its use of technology.”

MetroPDF.com also contains live links on advertisements that users can click to access an advertiser’s web site. Verizon Wireless purchased the first sponsorship of the cover sheet of the MetroPDF edition. Metro plans to charge advertisers a small fee for web links from its PDF version. “It’s a new distribution method to grow our readership -- and a new revenue model,” notes Metro Group Publisher Alisa Cromer.

The edition was launched following conversations with The Townsend Group, a San Jose-based marketing firm which arranged for the Verizon sponsorship. “Verizon views it as another way to talk to people in the workplace and as a non-intrusive way to keep their visible,” said Townsend Group CEO Mark Townsend.

Metro worked with San Jose’s Lightsource Studios to develop a mascot to promote the new product, a dog with a newspaper in its mouth and a jet pack strapped to its back.

Though a handful of daily newspapers offer an electronic edition that requires proprietary software and computers with Microsoft operating systems and browsers, MetroPDF can be viewed on almost all popular browsers and computing platforms. The PDF (portable document format) edition is viewed with the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free. Acrobat Reader runs on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris. It can be read on desktop, laptop, tablet or handheld computers. The Acrobat Reader operates both as a stand-alone product and as a plug-in to major browsers, including Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, and is already installed on most newer model computers.

Metro was the first weekly to combine voice messaging technology with classified advertising in the mid 1980s and, in 1993, launched the pioneering free online service, LiveWire, which combined newspaper content with message boards, live chats and email. Metro also operates, through its Boulevards.com subsidiary, the world’s largest network of e-commerce enabled city.com sites. Boulevards sites such as SanFrancisco.com and LosAngeles.com offer hotel and dining reservations, car rentals, tour packages and leisure-related information in more than 100 cities.

In addition to Metro Silicon Valley, Metro Newspapers publishes Metro Santa Cruz and the North Bay Bohemian, which is based in Sonoma County. Metro Santa Cruz and the Bohemian plan to introduce PDF editions in the coming weeks.

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Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat Reader, Boulevards, Internet Explorer, Linux, LiveWire, Microsoft, Netscape Navigator, Solaris, Verizon and Windows and are trademarks of their respective holders.

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