World Association of News Publishers

Classifieds – Completely different from the old days

Classifieds – Completely different from the old days


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Once a mainstay of newspaper ad revenue (especially in the USA), printed classified advertisements have shrunk to a shadow of their former importance, paralleled by the explosive growth of classifieds on the Internet.

Almost as soon as the World Wide Web was born, classifieds appeared on it. While a few far-sighted newspapers quickly realised how well the concept of private ads suited the nascent medium, online classifieds were rapidly dominated by a few entrepreneurs from outside the publishing industry, exemplified by Craiglist.

Newspapers have been fighting back ever since. They have deployed a wide variety of strategies, including alliances with one another and with pure players. Success stories in the former category include, the numberone recruitment site in the USA, with additional operations in Europe, Asia, South America and Canada. CareerBuilder is owned by Gannett Co. Inc., Tribune Co., and The McClatchy Co.

Standing out head and shoulders in the field is Oslo-based Schibsted, which in less than 15 years has evolved from a Scandinavian newspaper and media house into a global digital classified powerhouse.

A combination of far-sighted thinking, deep pockets, and perseverance – plus a willingness to cannibalise its own print business – has catapulted Schibsted into an enviable position. The next battleground for the industry is mobile classifieds.

Finding the formula for success in digital classifieds is no easy matter. That is why WAN-IFRA decided to engage the AIM Group, a company of longstanding expertise in the field, to write this report. The group's writers interviewed numerous current and former executives of leading players in the field, who spoke candidly about their strategies, successes and failures. Lessons for the industry are drawn in all cases.

From the table of contents:

  • Will print classifieds survive?
  • Latin America’s explosive growth attracts global classified giants
  • Indian online classifieds: A huge market, still untapped
  • Schibsted’s classified success story – How could they be so smart?
  • Craigslist (and more)
  • Anticipate or die: the story of Junk Mail in South Africa
  • Craigslist killer? eBay Classifieds’ Kijiji does it … in Canada
  • Investors in classifieds

We hope our readers find in these pages both useful information and inspiration for their classifieds operations.

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SFN Report
The AIM Group


Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski


2013-09-27 15:49

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