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News > Technology
Craigslist costs newspapers
Popular community site has cost San Francisco area papers up to $65M in help wanted ads: report.
December 28, 2004: 5:09 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Craigslist, the popular community Web site that generates more than 1 billion page views each month, has cost newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area $50 million to $65 million in help wanted ad revenue, according to a new study.

The site, which is partially owned by auction giant eBay (Research), has also cost newspapers millions more in merchandise, real estate and other traditional classified advertising, consulting firm Classified Intelligence LLC said in a report released on Monday.

"Craigslist has created an important and valuable marketplace, and perfectly illustrates the changing nature of the classified advertising industry," Peter Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence, said in a statement.

According to the study, Craigslist had 12,200 active job listings on its San Francisco site the week of November 21, 2004. By comparison, the San Francisco Chronicle had about 1,500 listings, while the Oakland Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News had about 730 and 1,700 respectively.

"It (Craigslist) has a very effective tool to find jobs and employees, and the price is also lower," Zollman told CNN/Money. Employers pay a $25 flat rate to advertise jobs on Craigslist. In contrast, a major newspaper, such as the New York Times, would charge $325 or more a month for an advertisement. But a New York Times ad would have a national appeal, he added.

Craigslist, started in the San Francisco Bay area in 1995, is a bare-bones classifieds site for people looking for almost anything, such as apartments, dates or jobs. It now has over 80 local versions in cities around the world -- mostly in the United States and Canada.

EBay took a 25-percent stake in the site in August, and some experts believe that the online auctioneer would eventually acquire all of Craigslist.

Classified advertising represents a $28 billion to $30 billion business in the U.S., including $16 billion in daily newspapers, and an estimated $100 billion business internationally, according to Classified Intelligence's study.  Top of page

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