News-Corp owned UK-tabloid Sun Online soft launched its own branded classifieds site on Monday in a partnership with Oodle. News Group Digital spent six months working with Oodle on Sun Local which covers more than two million classified ads in all the usual key areas: cars, jobs, property and so on. All ads on the site are free; the long-term revenue from the site will be worked out later on, but for now it’s Google AdSense. David Roddick, digital director for News Group Digital, said so far there’s been no cross-promotion in the newspaper or search marketing, although that is on the way. “The advantage for us is that we don’t have these verticals running in the paper so we’re not cannibalising our print ads. It’s designed to get us into a space that we don’t currently occupy and being The Sun we wanted to go in with scale.” It’s unlikely that any other News International title will be tied to a similar classified site; The Times, for example, has a well-established print classifieds service with an online component.
– Roddick also dismissed some circulating rumours about a merger of Sun Online and MySpace: “It’s true that we are looking at ways of developing communities but we won’t be directly merging with MySpace”. Earlier, Sun has announced plans for MySun.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.