Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The New York Times' Free Classified Ad Tabloid

The New York Times recently announced that they will provide a free tabloid newspaper that will focus on classified advertisements. When they say free, they mean that it will be distributed free of charge to readers, it doesn't mean that putting your classified ad in the paper will be free, it won't be. This strikes me as a desperate attempt to increase their circulation numbers in order to justify high advertising rates in the face of superior free solutions like Craigslist.

This effort is too little too late. It is too little because online classified ads are simply much better for both the advertiser and the reader. It is too late because, as Rupert Murdoch points out, classified ads are already moving online at an accelerating pace and there is nothing newspapers can do to stop it. My advice to the NYT, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.