Report: Newspapers, Yellow Pages Battle For Local Online Advertising Revenues

A new report from analyst firm Borrell Associates contains fairly dire revenue projections for both local newspapers and print yellow pages ($5 billion in projected print revenue losses in five years). The newspaper angle is picked up today by the Wall Street Journal and PaidContent, which both lay out some of the numbers.

The report is called “Say Goodbye to Yellow Pages.”

Yet it’s not as severe on the directory industry as that title would suggest. The report contains numerous projections of revenues and their various sources and discusses numbers of sales reps and so on. Borrell has always contended that newspapers were dominant in the local online advertising market and had the lions share of revenues. Part of that has been based on historical newspaper accounting practices that inflate the appearance of online revenues.

This new report, however, says that newspaper dominance is slipping as online “pure plays” (e.g., search engines) and yellow pages publishers are in a better position to capture small business advertising dollars as they migrate online. It argues that yellow pages sales forces have “retooled” more efficiently than newspapers and are in a stronger position to reap the benefits as newspapers falter and see more revenue losses.

The Wall Street Journal article echoes that newspaper weakness with anecdotal comments from publishers and their sales executives.

I spoke yesterday at a yellow pages sales event about the “State of Local Search” and can say that there’s heavy emphasis being placed on selling digital media across the board.

The “local ecosystem” online is considerably more complex than the two articles above suggest. Both directory publishers and to a lesser degree newspapers have emerged as critical online segments and, even more so, as “resellers” of traffic from search engines. In that capacity they are acting as sales channels for search engines, which have decided not to build out local “feet on the street” to push online advertising to small businesses. Newspapers have also tied up with Yahoo, Zillow, and others in an effort to organize themselves into networks for more efficient ad buying at the national level.

Search engines, directory publishers, and newspapers all need each other to some degree because none of them independently have all the assets (traffic, sales, advertiser relationships, and content) to entirely succeed in the local online market.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Search Marketing: Local Search Marketing

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide