Oodles of classifieds

Jemima Kiss reports in PaidContent that Rupert Murdoch’s London Sun has unveiled a new classifieds site, Sun Local, using Oodle, which scrapes and organizes classified listings from around the web. This is the money quote from News Group Digital director David Roddick:

The advantage for us is that we don’t have these verticals running in the paper so we’re not cannibalising our print ads. It’s designed to get us into a space that we don’t currently occupy and being The Sun we wanted to go in with scale.

In other words, this enables anyone who’s not now in the classifieds business — national newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, you — to enter in and go local. Of course, they won’t be making the tens of millions of dollars per category per year that major metro papers have made. But then, in the future, neither will those papers. To the newcomers, it’s new revenue in a business they could enter with scale before. And the revenue may not be from the classifieds themselves. Jemima report: “…the long-term revenue from the site will be worked out later on, but for now it’s Google AdSense.” So when you aggregate audience around advertising, you are able to target other advertising.

So what does it mean to the incumbents? I think they have to play along. They need their advertisers’ ads to be distributed and aggregated so they are found via search and links. And they, in turn, should be aggregating as well.