Fast moving classified aggregator LiveDeal announced yesterday that it will partner with classified transaction engine AdStar. The deal will allow LiveDeal to offer its online classified advertisers a print upsell in the 40-plus newspapers AdStar works with, which include the Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times and Denver Post.
This will include a tool offered to LiveDeal classified advertisers that will let them design and purchase print ads in these papers. This print upsell model was examined in Part 2 of our newspaper White Paper series (Part 3 is now fresh off the presses), and has been tested by some online classified providers (recycler.com, for example) to varying success.
This is LiveDeal’s second major newspaper partnership and its first in the U.S. The integration of offline and online classifieds, and more syndication of classifieds across affiliate Web sites, is picking up in the market. It’s a strategy that makes more sense online but one to which newspapers have been averse, largely for cultural reasons.
Microsoft product unit manager Garry Wiseman echoed these thoughts at The Kelsey Group’s Drilling Down on Local conference in March.
"We need to look at print and online as a whole. It may be in some categories that print supports online and becomes the marketing channel for it, versus other categories where online still plays the supporting role to print," he said. "Traditionally newspapers have always owned the content and kept it in a walled garden. But you can do a lot by syndicating content to make it really valuable."
This represents a growing attitude online that syndicating content to as many places as possible can gain wider distribution and also drive traffic back to one’s own site — rather than fighting for users to show up at your doorstep. The integration of print and online classifieds holds a similar concept and for LiveDeal will carry the advantage of a very large base of online classified advertisers to upsell to print. LiveDeal will benefit from additional distribution of its ads and a piece of the upsell revenues, while newspapers will gain additional advertisers from the expanding universe of online classified advertisers.
There is a lot more to it and we’ll keep watching to see how it plays out, and if it will stimulate other such deals in the marketplace.