34 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2010 Last revised: 7 Sep 2014
Date Written: May 28, 2013
How do firms respond to entry in multi-sided markets? We address this question by studying the impact of Craigslist, a website providing classified-advertising services, on local US newspapers. We exploit temporal and geographical variation in Craigslist’s entry to show that newspapers with greater reliance on classified-ad revenue experience a larger drop in classified-ad rates after Craigslist’s entry. The impact of Craigslist’s entry on the classified-ad side appears to propagate to other sides of the newspapers’ market. On the subscriber side, these newspapers experience an increase in subscription prices, a decrease in circulation, and an increase in differentiation from each other. On the display-ad side, affected newspapers experience a decrease in display-ad rates. We also find evidence that affected newspapers are less likely to make their content available online. Finally, we estimate that Craigslist’s entry leads to $5.0 billion in year 2000 dollars in savings to classified-ad buyers during 2000-2007.
Keywords: entry, pricing, platforms, two-sided markets
JEL Classification: L13, L86, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Seamans, Robert and Zhu, Feng, Responses to Entry in Multi-Sided Markets: The Impact of Craigslist on Local Newspapers (May 28, 2013). NET Institute Working Paper No. 10-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694622 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1694622