Cover on 28 July 2017
|Founded||16 March 1999|
|Headquarters||Northcliffe House, Kensington High Street, London, England|
|Circulation||1.47 million (as of November 2017)|
Metro is the United Kingdom's highest circulation newspaper, published in tabloid format by DMG Media. The free newspaper is distributed from Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) on many public-transport services, stations and hospitals across urban areas of England, Wales and Scotland. Distributors have also been employed to hand out copies to pedestrians.
Metro is owned by DMGT, part of the same media group as the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, although in some areas Metro operates as a franchise with a local newspaper publisher, rather than as a wholly owned concern.
The Metro free newspaper concept originated in Sweden, where a publication of the same name was launched in 1995 by Metro International. British newspaper executives Jonathan Harmsworth and Murdoch MacLennan, from DMGT, were reportedly inspired by the idea and flew to Stockholm on a 'fact-finding mission' with a view to developing their own version.
DMGT subsequently launched a newspaper using the same name but with a different logo on Tuesday March 16 1999. This UK version of Metro had no relation to Metro International or its sister newspapers in other countries. Metro was launched initially as a London-only newspaper with an original print run of 85,000 copies, which were distributed via dedicated bins in London Underground stations. 
In the years followings its launch, the paper's distribution was gradually expanded to other major UK cities, including Manchester and Birmingham. By 2004 it expanded further, becoming available in more urban areas including Nottingham, Bristol and Bath.  By the time of its 10th anniversary in 2009, the newspaper was distributed in 16 UK cities and its circulation had grown to 1.3million.Metro is now available in most major urban areas of England, Wales and Scotland.
In 2017, it became the most-read newspaper in the UK, according to monthly National Readership Survey figures. In March 2018 Metro officially overtook rival The Sun (United Kingdom) in total print circulation. 
Metro International attempted to launch its own title in the UK in 1999, and in Newcastle upon Tyne, this company's paper was distributed on the Tyne & Wear Metro system side by side with DMGT's Metro. After battling alongside each other with the same name, Metro International's Metro changed its name to Morning News. However Morning News was short-lived, being discontinued shortly afterwards.
Rupert Murdoch is said to have regretted missing the opportunity of launching his own London paper. However, Murdoch's News International launched a London-based newspaper in 2006 called The London Paper, using funding from Liam McDonald. This was closed on 18 September 2009.
The newspaper is divided into three main sections - news, features and sport. The news section includes Guilty Pleasures, which typically contains two or four pages of showbiz and entertainment news. The features section contains a mix of articles on travel, homes, style, and health, science, as well as extensive arts coverage and entertainment listings. The puzzles page currently features a crossword and Sudoku. Cartoons included a translation of the Norwegian strip Nemi by Lise Myhre and the American strip Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis. The cartoon features and non-showbiz columns were dropped in 2015, citing financial issues and lagging circulation. Around this time, the paper began to expand its celebrity coverage, aiming both at women and young audiences, while reducing news and sports coverage.
In 2014, production of Metro newspaper and the metro.co.uk website was separated, so that they are now produced by separate organisations and written independently by different editorial teams, although they remain part of the same parent company. Metro newspaper content is published online on a separate website, www
In its first five years, it achieved a readership of over 1 million daily readers, making it the UK's fourth largest weekday newspaper, after The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. In October 2008, its total certified distribution for that month was 1.36 million and it officially had some 3.5 million readers in March 2010. The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers reported its 2009 circulation as 1.34 million.
By October 2016, circulation was increased to nearly 1.5 million and with its circulation of 1.48 million in June 2017 it became the largest circulation weekday newspaper in the UK, overtaking The Sun (United Kingdom). In March 2018 Metro overtook the Sun's total print circulation.
The Dublin freesheet Metro Herald was similar in layout and content to its British counterpart, as Associated Metro provides much of the content.Metro Herald was formed by the merging of Metro Ireland with its main competitor, Herald AM (published by Independent News & Media's Evening Herald).
Metro Ireland was launched on 10 October 2005, as was Herald AM. Both titles were loss-making, despite a circulation of 145,000 between them in the Greater Dublin Area. The merger of the two titles faced scrutiny by the Competition Authority as the resulting match up drew together IN&M (publishers of the Irish Independent) and The Irish Times (the two Dublin-based broadsheets). On 2 July 2009, it was announced that the two freesheets were to merge, and by 2010 this merger was complete. Publication ceased in December 2014.
Metro launched two new mobile app products in 2016: 11versus11, which is a football news app, and Guilty Pleasures, a celebrity news app. Both apps offer personalised content based on a user's interest profile. 11versus11 won the Best Lifestyle, Sports & Entertainment App award at the 2017 European Digital Media Awards.