Newspaper Companies Understand Domain Names

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Classified VenturesThis might come as a surprise to you because it was certainly a surprise to me, but some of the leading newspaper companies do understand the value of generic domain names. Newspaper publishing companies including A.H. Belo Corporation, Gannett Company. Inc., Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company, and The Washington Post Company own a joint venture called Classified Ventures, LLC, which owns and operates several leading brands.

You ever hear of Classified Ventures?   I didn’t think so. I hadn’t heard of them either until last night. However, we all know companies that are under the Classified Ventures umbrella, and at least two of them operate on the absolute best possible category killer domain names for their verticals, hands down. In addition, CV owns some great brand supporting domain names that are either smaller stand-alone portals or forward to the main website.

Let’s take a look at some Classified Ventures domain names/websites:

  • Cars.com
  • Apartments.com
  • Apartment.com
  • Apts.com
  • PickupTruck.com
  • PickupTrucks.com
  • MovingVan.com
  • Roommate.net
  • So the next time someone tells you that newspaper companies just don’t understand domain names (myself included), you can tell that person he is wrong! I bet he will be as surprised as I was.

    10 COMMENTS

    1. Elliot … this is what I find most interesting about this company … and it underscores the lack of foresight by most domainers … Associate and Prosper.

      Classified Ventures is owned by five leading media companies: A.H. Belo Corp., Gannett Co. Inc., Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company and The Washington Post Company.

    2. There is an interesting distinction that plays into the lost opportunity of the newspapers. First, all of those fantastic domains listed are broad generics with universal appeal. To their credit, they captured a large segment of the market with those.

      However, those are not locality-specific domains like a geodomain city portal, Lowell.com for example. And therein was the problem in waiting. I think that was the miscalculation on at least some of the major papers. They didn’t think they needed the pure city domain (because they enjoyed such a long monopoly on the local market), and they presumed they could operate indefinitely with their obscure newspaper name that had been around for 70+ years.

      The importance of “local” really didn’t emerge until at least several years after most of those steller dotcoms had been acquired & launched. So I think they had good early vision acquiring those fine generics, but then underestimated the significance of “local” as the internet revolution evolved.

    3. Those aren’t domain names, those are full-blown companies.

      Tribune has an interest in the revenues from those companies. It has nothing to do with their understanding of domain names. And from my experience, Tribune doesn’t understand them at all.

      -M

      • @DCMike

        Really? Correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that Cars.com and Apartments.com are domain names, the content residing on those domain names are websites, and those websites together with the domain names and employees are operating as businesses.

    4. My point is that Tribune invested in the operational model/revenue/margins of those businesses, not because of the domain name.

      Naturally, the great cars.com domain name has some part in the success of the business, but that’s not why tribune invested in it and it doesn’t mean they understand the raw value of domains.

      cheers

      • @DCMike

        If the business was built on Carz.com, do you think it would have seen the same level of success – or that these companies would have invested?

    5. Definitely news to me and I am impressed.

      I’d rather sell apartments and cars, over news.

      It takes work along with marketing and branding for locals to list and look for apartments and cars on a local domain.

      I have never looked, but are there any thriving classifieds on the major geo sites (not owner by newspapers)?

    6. That’s funny, I just typed in Michigan.com yesterday to see if there was a site on the domain name, and it redirects to freep.com which is the website for the Detroit Free Press.

      The Detroit Free Press is one of two daily papers that serve Detroit and the Detroit Metro area. I could not believe a newspaper company was smart enough to own a name like that and have it redirect to their own website.

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