Is Craigslist Responsible for Lost Media Revenues?

By Steve Byers

This is a bit of news; links to a recent story.

Interesting analysis of Craigslist projecting revenues of $122 million with profits of $80-$90 million this year. The story also goes into the potential concerns for the site since adult advertising makes up much of its revenue and it faces other problems.

What’s missed in all this is the incredible loss of revenues to media in general. Sure Craigslist is making millions for its owners, a good thing, but that $122 million in revenue pales in comparison to the profit lost by publications that it’s replaced. Newspapers posted $19.6 billion in classified advertising revenue in 2000. Most of that’s gone, especially to Craigslist.

Free is good for consumers and appears to be good for one company. But it’s wreaked havoc on an entire industry. And that’s not good.

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication.

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