Peter Meng, 2011-2012 fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism has developed a digital classified ad platform that incorporates social media to help newspapers win back classified advertising from other online sources. It is estimated that recent digital disruption of conventional classified advertising has cost traditional news organizations billions in lost revenues. Meng believes is platform will create a new, steady stream of revenue for news operations.
Meng’s AdFreeq is one of 40 companies worldwide selected to debut today at the 2012 LAUNCH Festival. Jason Calacanis’ Launch Festival exposes these start-up companies to 400-500 venture capitalists and angel investors and the possibility of funding support.
Meng and business partner, Chris Eckhardt will be featured in a Google+ Hangout on KOMU’s U_News broadcast on Friday, March 9 at 11a.m. CST to answer questions about adFreeq and their participation in the Launch Festival. The broadcast can be viewed live here: www.komu.com/streaming-newscast
AdFreeq can be loaded easily onto a newspaper’s website and provides a way for community members to post ads either for free or for a small fee. Free ads can last in the system for up to ten days on the newspaper’s site. If a customer wants the paper to give their ad priority, they can pay a small premium fee and the ad instantly will be tweeted to thousands of followers.
“Unlike sites such as Craigslist, AdFreeq will constantly refresh ads to the top of the page,” Meng said. “AdFreeq also will make ads searchable through the entire Internet, instead of being limited to just a local page.”
AdFreeq ads can be any type of classified ads from job listings to cars for sale. Meng believes this will be a successful way for newspapers to create new revenue.
“AdFreeq will provide a solid stream of revenue for newspapers who adopt it,” Meng said. “Not only will newspapers make money from the premium ads, but AdFreeq will be a source for driving more traffic to their websites, which allows them to charge more money for other advertisements. Previously, that online traffic was going to sites like Craigslist and other local classified ad sites. Hopefully this will be a way to pull more people on to newspaper sites.”
About Peter Meng
Peter Meng, an online marketing and advertising professional, has developed numerous relationships within the University of Missouri, the Missouri School of Journalism as well as RJI. He spent seven years with Apple and is considered an expert in new Internet technologies, eLearning, and online marketing. His skills include: system and technical design, business process management and vision based leadership.