Is Craigslist Costing Bay Area Newspapers $65 Million Per Year?
from the seems-like-a-bit-much... dept
A new research report has come out with the eye-catching claim that Craigslist's job listings (the only thing Craigslist actually charges for) is costing San Francisco Bay Area newspapers between $50 and $65 million in revenue. While there's no doubt that Craigslist is making newspapers lose some business, the numbers look a bit questionable. First of all, it appears to assume that every job listing on Craigslist (at $75 a pop) would have gone to a newspaper otherwise (at $700 a pop). This is highly unlikely. Also, it's troublesome whenever a report comes out claiming that some newer, cheaper offering is "costing" legacy players revenue. That suggests the responsibility is with the upstart for "taking away" money from the incumbents -- when the real fault is with the incumbents for not (a) looking for ways to cannibalize their own businesses before some upstart gets the chance and (b) not responding quickly when the challenges appear. Craigslist isn't costing these newspapers anything. The newspapers are simply failing to update their business models to changing market conditions.