Craigslist, the wildly popular classified site, is a closely held company that nurtures an image of community spirit and an aw-shucks ethos of just helpin’ people connect with people.
Peel that back, and you’ve got an extremely profitable company, according to research from the Advanced Interactive Media (AIM) Group.
Earlier this week, AIM’s Classified Intelligence Report came out with an estimate pegging Craigslist’s 2009 revenue at $100 million, up 23 percent from last year. Today, AIM’s Peter Zollman penned a blog post saying the “100 million estimate may be very conservative.”
“We believe revenue could easily exceed the nine-figure mark,” Zollman said.
Craigslist, which offers most of its listings for free, makes money from fees for recruitment ads, as well as real estate listings from brokers in New York.
Using a simple methodology of counting ads, AIM has been tracking Craigslist’s revenue since 2003, when it estimated the site raked in $7 million.
Craigslist only charges fees for job listings in 18 cities, though AIM projects that the addition of new markets and Craigslist’s [recently-created adult services section](/webcontent/article.php/3821951/Judge+Halts+Prosecution+of+Craigslist+for+Sex+Ads.htm) could open significant new revenue channels.