Craigslist, the “free classifieds” site that offers community advertising in 570 markets worldwide but charges only for a tiny percentage of its ads, will generate $100 million in revenue in 2009, the AIM Group / Classified Intelligence estimated today.
That’s an increase of more than 23 percent from Craigslist’s estimated revenue of $81 million in 2008, making clear that the company continues to grow significantly while many classified advertising publishers are reporting year-over-year drops of 50 percent or more in certain categories.
Craigslist is a stunning business success story, especially since it’s run more like a community service than a for-profit business. And despite tremendous negative publicity and legal battles, its revenue keeps increasing at a remarkable pace.
Our estimate of Craigslist’s revenue is part of an 11-page annual overview in our clients-only Classified Intelligence Report, one of the cornerstones of continuous-advisory service. Clients received the report today, along with other news.
The report illustrates how the company has neatly sidestepped an agreement with state law-enforcement officials about ads for “erotic services;” recaps the company’s ongoing court fight with part-owner EBay; and reviews some of the sites competing with Craigslist, including IList.com, Backpage.com from Village Voice Media, and Kijiji.com and its related classified sites from EBay.
We’re making the Craigslist portion of the report available to non-clients, for only $295. You can purchase it here.
The special report includes more than a dozen links to legal action against and by Craigslist and other Craigslist-related information, and four graphics about Craigslist’s revenue and growth. One full-page graphic details Craigslist’s ad counts and revenue projections in more than 150 U.S. cities.
We began estimating Craigslist’s revenue in 2003, when we projected revenue of about $7 million. The AIM Group tracks Craigslist’s revenue through the most basic approach – counting ads; its complete methodology is detailed in the report.