Newspapers say goodbye to classified revenue
If you can’t beat them …
I think newspapers have worked out what the response is to free classified ad sites like Craiglist, and it’s not what many expected.
The response is to accept that classified revenue will gradually decline, possibly until the point there isn’t any, and start your own free ads site in competition.
Today came the announcement that Tribune, (owner of US radio and TV stations as well as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles newspapers, among others) will launch free online classified ad sections for their newspaper websites.
Tribune has an agreement with aggregator Topix.
It seems it’s better to have people on your site – where you might be able to interest them in other content, upsell to them, or pass some ads in front of them – than risk them clicking over to somewhere else, perhaps never to return.
The Tribune deal includes a revenue share with Topix where a user can pay to have their ad featured more prominently.