In the Suddenly Hot Classifieds Space, Oodle Launches Partner Network
Classifieds aggregator Oodle has launched a partner network and API for syndication of its listings. The first two members are Lycos and Backpage.com, a group of community classified sites operated by local media, including weekly newspapers, radio and TV stations in 40 metro areas. (Backpage hosts classifieds on the SF Weekly and Village Voice, among others.) Publishers are free to prioritize their listings above those provided by Oodle.
Suddenly everybody wants classifieds and the space is red hot with lots of competitors offering free listings coming into the fray: MS Expo and Edgeio are only the two most recent providers to join a growing list that includes Craigslist (mostly free) and LiveDeal (free to individuals).
What’s interesting about Edgeio and now Oodle’s offering (LiveDeal has something generally similar for local media sites) is the idea of syndicating classifieds to overcome some of the fragmentation of the local market and the obstacles to getting local destination traffic.
I’m writing a roundup of recent developments in the classifieds marketplace in this week’s Local Media Journal.
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Aggregators redistributing aggregated listings to other aggregators seems to further fragment the market, while lowering opportunities for destination traffic and confusing users: the Backpage.com implementation yields "ads" characterized as from "eBay via oodle.com" and Oodle, which calls itself "the search engine for local classifieds" refers to Lycos classifieds, which calls itself "the search engine for local classifieds". The quality of "views" or "clicks" that such a redundant, circular strategy provides is uncertain.
Greg, isn’t Oodle’s offering different than LiveDeal’s???
Yes, it’s different. LiveDeal offers a platform/rev share for local media sites and will fill with its geographically relevant listings. It’s not syndication per se but the effect is similar at a high level.
Oodle has no advertisers of its own and is purely aggregating listings from third party sites and now pushing those listings to its network.
Greg, thanks for the response. Given the article today in the NY Times re: ecommerce in China, have you come across any articles/research on the online classifieds market in China??? I see that Craigslist covers certain regions in Asia, but, the number of listings is relatively small.