29. Classified Ventures
U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $350 million
Snapshot: Craigslist may get significantly more traffic, but Classified Ventures has managed to carve out a lucrative niche for itself in the auto classifieds market with Cars.com, which features paid listings from dealers and individuals, as well as various car shopping resources. Other sites in Classified Ventures’ portfolio include Apartments.com and HomeFinder.com. Together, the company says its properties reach 16.4 million people a month.
Like CareerBuilder, Classified Ventures is owned by a consortium of newspaper publishers: A.H. Belo, Gannett, Tribune, McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Key digital move in 2010: Classified Ventures itself is very much under-the-radar, but Cars.com is famous for its Super Bowl commercials. 2010′s standout:
How we generated our estimate: On its site, Classified Ventures prominently advertises that it was included in Crain’s Chicago Business’ list of Chicago’s fastest-growing companies in 2010, as well as the 2010 Inc. 500. Both publications put Classified Ventures’ 2009 revenue at $310 million. The Interactive Advertising Bureau estimates online classifieds revenues increased 13.1 percent during the first half of 2010. Assuming that growth rate continued for the second half and that Classified Ventures’ sales grew in line with the overall market, Classified Ventures’ sales totaled $350 million.