Yahoo Consortium in Autos Next?

yahoo-logo-735610.jpgFor such a seemingly dry topic, the online classifieds space sure does have people talkin’. Newspaper industry watcher Ken Doctor has the inside scoop on the next stage of the Yahoo newspaper partnership, into the auto arena (by way of Peter Krasilovsky over at The Local Onliner. )

“Word is that a number of the amigos will be meeting in Sunnyvale as early as this week or next around doing a new partnership with Yahoo” he writes. “The aim: a new push around used cars, harnessing Yahoo’s search and lead generation powers, as the auto marketplace heats up.” Doctor also writes of the potential competition for, a Gannett/McClatchy/Tribune venture, and adds that Yahoo’s current alignment with AutoTrader could alter as a result of a branching out of the consortium classifieds categories.

Krasilovsky adds, “Yahoo has a lot of auto manufacturer deals in place for national advertising, and these could theoretically trickle down to the newspaper sites.” They sure do, and a recent custom site produced for Pontiac is an example.

A Ways Down the Road?
An auto classifieds network arising from the consortium could be a ways off, though, considering the HotJobs integration is “modest”, according to Eric van Miltenburg, GM of Yahoo’s Newspaper Consortium. He told me last month that “Users will start to see elements of the collaboration this year.”

Video Classifieds?
Another thing on Web classifieds: yesterday’s report from Borrell Associates (see ClickZ News coverage) on online local video advertising predicted many of the video ads featured on newspaper sites will be up-sells of classified ads in the future. One could certainly envision Yahoo’s ad serving technology eventually powering something along these lines for its growing newspaper network or for listings on its own site.

After autos, surely, real estate won’t be far down the road, either for the Yahoo partnership, another space with several pairings already in place that could be disrupted by a Yahoo network move. Of course, there’s also a potential for display ads….Does it ever end?

Related reading