The Claigslist-ification of classifieds continues in niche media

Nature Publishing Group, the scientific publishing firm based in the United Kingdom, now offers free classified listings on its site. The group is built around Nature, the group’s 137-year-old general-interest science magazine. Nature’s prime competitor is the U.S.-based Science, the journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science .

I visited Science’s job site and they do not seem to have a similar, free job posting offer.Way to go, Nature, tsk, tsk, Science. In a global search for talent which tactic will get young folks reading which site? (Parenthetically, I see other publishing experimentation out of the U.K., notably from the BBC. Have British publishers got some idea about how giving away selected content can profitably boost traffic? Or are they poofy poseurs who have to give their stuff away to compete with us colonials. Tough to say.) 

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A snippet from the Online Publishers Association bi-weekly insights suggests that newspaper online revenues slowed their growth in the third quarter. OPA relied on the MediaPost analysis to say:

“The Newspaper Association of America reported that print ads were down 2.6% in the third quarter vs. the year-ago quarter, while online ads were up 23% to $638 million. MediaPost pointed out that the third quarter saw a drop of 5% sequentially for newspaper company online revenues from the second quarter, and noted that the 23% growth rate was down from second quarter growth of 33.2% and first quarter growth of 35%.”

The NAA press release put third quarter print revenues at $11.132 billion (subtracting out the online slice from the total revenues of $11.8 billion). When I do the math, the online component makes us 5.4 percent of overall revenues.

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Press releases must be profitable. The Sunday Times Times of London reports that a private equity firm may buy out U.S.-based PR Newswire (PRN) for $500 million pounds (about twice that in U.S. dollars). What makes it such a deal? The Times says: “PRN, largely an American business, has been growing strongly because of increased financial-disclosure requirements imposed on companies.” (FYI, I noted this in Paid Content but that site’s redesign makes it harder to attach specific links to snippets; quelle domage!)

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Now hear this! The Pew Internet and American Life project says 12 percent of Web users surveyed in August have downloaded a podcast, up from seven percent from their spring survey. A MediaPost story has more including a deparate and less bullish (6.6 percent estimate made in July) by Nielsen/Net Ratings.