Will the Yellow Pages industry be the next business category to suffer its demise at the hands of the internet?
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an interesting overview of the state of the Yellow Pages industry.
My take on the Yellow Pages industry:
Will the Yellow Pages go away anytime soon?
Will 50% or more of the existing Yellow Pages advertising supply disappear in this economic cycle?
Will the Yellow Pages industry as a whole ever experience the semi-monopolistic product and pricing power it once enjoyed?
The most interesting figure to come from today’s Wall Street Journal article about the Yellow Pages industry is the graph showing the internet audience size of the top providers – MapQuest / AOL, Superpages.com / Idearc, Yellowpages.com / AT&T, Whitepages and Yahoo Local / Yahoo.
Collectively the group has less than 150 million unique visitors monthly.
How many more unique monthly visitors would the Yellow Pages industry need to become competitive?
Will the industry have time to amass a large enough internet audience to offset the losses occurring from a contraction in buyers and the continued erosion in their print audience?
The Yellow Pages industry could do what the auto industry does when its products and cost structures no longer generate profits – turn to Washington.