Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Craigslist vs Newspapers : David beating Goliath in many markets

Mark Fletcher
June 20th, 2005 · No Comments

In How to Speak “Craigslist” Dayana Yochim of The Motley Fool writes about how rule breaking is the norm at Craigslist and why this small almost home based business is scaring newspapers around the world.

Then there is this, an interview with Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster originally broadcast on National Public Radio a week back. This interview gives you a sense of the community connect Craigslist achieves. With readers growing rapidly, no wonder newspapers are concerned. Buckmaster talks about the US$18 billion classified advertising industry and says the money spent on classified advertising should be spent on humanitarian efforts.

And as if you needed more evidence of the impact Craigslist is having, across at ecommercetimes.com there’s a story about how newspapers and eBay are responding to Craigslist. Telling numbers from this article: “Nielsen/ NetRatings show that eBay’s page views in April were up less than 0.5 percent from the previous April. At Craigslist, page views grew 130 percent in the same period.” Wonder what the classified growth was for the same period.

Attention newsagents and others in the news and information supply chain: what’s your piece of the Craigslist action? Nothing! Classifieds have been crucial to newspapers since they began. In years gone by they were called the rivers of gold. It’s a phrase you now hear rarely in the context of classified advertising. These are developments newsagents need to have a commercial response to otherwise the river will be flowing elsewhere with nothing to replace it.

PS. If you’re in Melbourne and looking for a car, check out this ad on Craigslist. Of for Sydney residents, check out this ad for a house in Kellyville for rent.

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