Given the leakage we talked about earlier, the safest monetization bet for local buying & selling startups is to charge upfront listings fees i.e. fees for putting a listing on the platform irrespective of whether it sells or not. Only a certain type of seller putting a certain type of listing would see the ROI in paying that fee. Majority of Craigslist’s revenue comes from listing fees in three categories: employment listings, real estate listings and car listings. People get that and therefore, there are already startups that are targeted specifically towards these categories (example: Upwork, Zillow, Beepi, etc.). Like local buying & selling startups, these startups are designed to take advantage of the gap in Craigslist’s mobile strategy. They have already built a sizeable user base and offer a user experience that eases the friction in the specific category they are in.
In the matrix below, I have plotted local buying & selling startups in the broader e-commerce landscape. Ads and listing fees are the two prominent ways of monetization for companies in each of the quadrants.
Spotify has also made big steps recently to improve their analytics available to artists. As an artist, you can see a graph of your number of listeners on a day-to-day basis, how they stream (from your artist’s page, from their playlists, etc.), their gender and age, and where they listen. There’s even a list of cities where your music is the most popular, which is critical for bigger artists deciding on where to hold concerts. Recently Spotify added the ability to break down these demographics by song, so artists can figure out how to best cater to all parts of their audience, and really dissect how certain content is received.