Last month I wrote a post wondering why newspapers don’t try to take on Craigslist by making their classifieds free (and making money from targeted advertising on a robust, user-friendly, feature-rich site). Now there’s evidence that this is possible: According to Lost Remote, KSL.com — the Web site for an NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City — gets 130 million page views a month, 75 percent of which are to its free classifieds site.
It’s hard to know if KSL’s model is replicable at this point. “I believe most of our success come from getting into the game early,” the site’s director of online content tells Lost Remote. But it would be worth a shot for at least a few other newspapers or TV stations to try.
If my theories I offered over here are correct, then the last thing newspapers want to do is try to compete with craigslist for free advertising.