Hardly anyone under 30 years of age reads classified advertising in newspapers, according to News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch, speaking to the UK Press Gazette.
“Perhaps rivers dry up,” he said, referring to the possibility that revenues from classified advertising could desert printed newspapers forever.
His comments follow on from News Corp's sale of the Times Education Supplement group, which makes most of its income from classified advertising.
His views are backed up by research from the Internet Advertising Bureau. Online classified advertising rose by 93 per cent to £131m in the first six months of this year. The fastest area of growth is in recruitment advertising.
Meanwhile, the European Interactive Advertising Association reports that 20 per cent of 25-34 year olds spend more than 20 hours a week on the internet. The figure rises to 25 per cent for 16-24 year olds.
Murdoch, who gave a handful of in-depth interviews last week, also criticised the use of free DVDs as a means of selling more newspapers. He said the cost of doing such a promotion does not justify the short term sales gains.
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