The Marketplace Reader

Despite Internet, Yellow Pages multiply

Richard Core Aug 8, 2008

Now that just about every business’ phone number and information is available online, the Yellow Page volumes in our home rarely get touched. Because of where we live in Los Angeles, we get several different copies zoned for particular neighborhoods left on our doorstep. Some of them go straight to the recycling bin.

Apparently, according to an Associated Press report, ours is not the average American family:

Last year, Yellow Pages publishers logged roughly $16.8 billion in revenue. That figure is on pace to rise to $17.2 billion this year, and $17.6 billion in 2009, according to [Simba Information, a Stamford, Conn.-based media research company] . . . .

And while other advertising-driven businesses — particularly newspapers and magazines — have been struggling as their readers and advertisers migrate to the Internet, the old-fashioned printed copy remains king in the Yellow-Pages business.

A usage study conducted by statistical research firm Knowledge Networks/SRI estimates that Americans referred to print Yellow Pages advertisements 13.4 billion times last year, compared with 3.8 billion online listings.

The story says the Yellow Pages business has been so good that there are now two phone books published for every person in the United States.

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