Updated: January 23, 2013 1:23 PM | By LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

Kijiji powers Postmedia's used car listings



Kijiji powers Postmedia's used car listings

Postmedia newspapers are displayed in Ottawa on January 8, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Kijiji is now powering all of the used car listings for Postmedia Network's 10 daily newspaper websites, marking the first partnership between the free online classified site and mainstream media.

The deal will more than double the number of used cars for sale on Postmedia's websites and its Driving.ca site with more than 150,000 vehicle listings, Kijiji's Scott Neil said Wednesday.

"I think it lets both parties, in general, focus on what they're really good at," said Neil, head of vertical business at Kijiji in Toronto.

"From our point of view, what we get out of this partnership for our viewers is we're providing them with greater exposure for their car listings."

Kijiji will build the used car sites at Postmedia's newspapers, including Toronto's National Post, Montreal Gazette and Calgary Herald, with its free listings. The newspapers, in turn, will sell ads around the Kijiji listings.

Consumers will get more information about the used cars on the Kijiji listings, including vehicle make, model, year, price range, body type, transmission, drive train and fuel type, noted Postmedia (TSX:PNC.A).

No financial details about the deal were released.

Neil also said consumers coming to Postmedia's newspaper sites do a lot of research when looking for used cars and the Kijiji ads will "round out that experience."

Traditional media have lost classified ad revenue to free online classified ad and job sites in recent years. U.S.-based Craigslist has often been criticized for costing newspapers millions of dollars in classified ad revenue with its free online classifieds.

Ryerson University's Suanne Kelman said newspapers need new business models.

"This is good news for newspapers because one of the big issues is attracting people to news sites, so it helps," said Kelman, associate chair at Ryerson's School of Journalism.

"So it brings in a revenue stream and possibly even new readers," Kelman said.

It looks like a "win-win" situation, but there could be some dangers to the partnership, she added.

"I don't think there are going to be a whole lot of critical articles in the (National) Post about used cars."

Neil said although there are no more deals like this in the works, there's room for more Kijiji partnerships with mainstream media in the future.

"I think there's an opportunity for other partnerships where we can both leverage what we're good at and make a win-win partnership for both parties," he said.

Kijiji has more than four million unique monthly visitors who come to its site for vehicle listings, Neil said.

Kijiji bills itself as the top classifieds site in Canada and is part of the eBay Classifieds Group.

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