Yedioth Storming Online Classifieds Market as Paper's Income Weakens

Printed ad page runs 3,000 items. Yad2, which has the same material, runs more than 30,000 ads at no cost

The Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper group intends to storm the classified ads market on the Internet, in order to solve the problem of declining revenues from such ads in the newspaper.

TheMarker has learned that within a few weeks, Ynet will launch a new placed ads center on its site. It will include classified ads for employment, cars and apartments.

Yedioth publisher Arnon Mozes sees the volume of printed placed ads shrinking, while Internet activity is growing.

The printed Yedioth Ahronoth ad page runs about 3,000 items, whereas the Yad2 Web site, which deals with ads in the same fields, runs more than 30,000 ads at no cost.

Yedioth Ahronoth has decided to arm for the battle - if it is going to lose the printed ad page, it had better be to Ynet's benefit.

A huge marketing push is planned for the new advertising database, which aims to push the product to the forefront of Israeli cyber advertisement.

The ad pages will now be managed by the incoming Ynet director, Avi Ben Tal, who until recently served as the director of the Yedioth Ahronoth classified ads sections.

The heads of Yedioth Ahronoth learned about three years ago that there was direct competition between Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet over revenue from classified ads.

While the price of a classified ad on Ynet was NIS 109 at the time, the price of advertising such an ad in Yedioth Ahronoth reached NIS 800.

The public has voted with its wallet: More and more classified ads are posted only on the Internet, and are not reaching the printed pages. Ultimately, an easy search of the ads is the straw that broke the back of the printed page.

As a result, the new format will make all these ads free, though real estate brokers and others will be charged a fee. In addition, premium services such as SMS messages for new notices will cost money.

Also, paid ads will get special treatment.