News International and the Press Association have joined forces to
launch a new on-line classified advertising service to maximise
potential revenue from the UK’s pounds 1.5 billion classified market.
Classified advertising has been identified by the media industry as one
of the key, and at this stage one of the few, areas of on-line
publishing likely to generate income over the next five years.
Classified Link UK, will offer all newspapers the opportunity to sell
through the Internet as part of the biggest classified site in the UK,
while maintaining their own identity, market position and pricing
Participating newspapers will be able to place their advertisements on a
national database which will link jobs, property, travel, motoring and
business services. The ads will be able to carry pictures, location maps
and an e-mail response mechanism.
Mark Hird, general manager of PA Data Design, PA’s electronic publishing
and software arm, says research has shown that complementary on-line
classified advertising services can lead to an increase in the volume of
classified advertising placed in newspapers.
Hird says the value of Classified Link UK lies in the database which
newspapers can sell into local kiosks and libraries as an easy to access
reference service. He said the database should make it easier for local
newspapers to attract classified advertising from local services.
News International and PA have visited half of the UK’s newspaper groups
and Hird says ‘positive feedback has been well above our estimates’. NI
and PA will set up a joint company to build and operate Classified Link
UK and participating companies will pay a subscription.