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Feb 13 2006
Berry Adding 100 Digital Reps
Just saw this article in the Dayton Business Journal about The Berry Company's growing online sales force. As we wrote in the last edition of Local Media Journal , Berry recently signed a deal with Marchex to upgrade its guaranteed clicks program, which the publisher tells us has been selling well, with growth at a much faster pace than IYP sales. The new reps will sell both IYP and search engine advertising. TKR will be coming out with an advisory soon that examines current best practices in IYP sales.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  16:06 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 9 2006
AT&T Weighs in on Syndicated Research
AT&T Yellow Pages has contributed to the debate over syndicated research by releasing its own assessment of how it has done so far in its markets measured as part of the ongoing third-party syndicated usage program.

AT&T Yellow Pages (formerly SBC) is the world's largest Yellow Pages publisher, and it operates in major markets in the Midwest, Southwest and West Coast, including such large markets as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Detroit and Cleveland.

According to its press release, AT&T has garnered an average 72.5 percent share of the 26 Yellow Pages Market Reporter studies released so far covering its markets. We called AT&T to ask if they could share any specific examples. They declined, saying that level of detail is being reserved for CMRs and advertisers. Nonetheless, a company spokesman did say that the publisher has a "major usage leadership position, except in a handful of markets."

The AT&T release makes it the fourth publisher to issue a press release touting the outcome of the synidicated research. The others are Verizon Information Services, Yellow Book and Ambassador.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  15:30 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [10]



Feb 9 2006
Hicks Quick to Expand in Canada
Not long after completing its acquisition of Phone Directories' Canadian operations, U.S. buyout firm Hicks Muse is pushing an aggressive expansion into bigger Canadian markets.

Next week, Canadian Phone Directories, the Hicks-backed company led by industry veteran Olivier Vincent, will begin a sales canvass for a Vancouver, BC, phone book. The book will overlay four Yellow Pages Group directories in the city. Vincent told us the distribution will be about 700,000 and rates will be about half those of the largest of the competing YPG books.

Also, CPD will re-launch the Calgary book to give it more distribution and sales muscle. Vincent told us the new Calgary book will distribute 600,000 copies, compared with 350,000 before.

The Calgary and Vancouver directories will both publish in the fourth quarter of this year.

These two developments make it clear that CPD plans to invest in making a more serious competitive challenge to YPG, which is by far the largest incumbent in Canada, than the previous Phone Directories operation was able to do.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  14:52 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 9 2006
Yell's Irritation Over Rate Cap Issue
Yell Group just posted solid numbers for the first nine months of its financial year, which ends on March 31. Its U.S. unit, Yellow Book, continues to post double digit gains, even when acquisitions are taken out of the picture. Results were also good in the U.K., where overall growth was 5.6 percent, and the IYP Yell.com continues to accelerate, growing at 62.4 percent.

The mixed blessing is that in the U.K. Yell faces a looming decision from the Competition Commission on whether to end, minimize, maintain or intensify the rate cap that Yell now operates under. The decision is expected in August, and last month, the commission issued a glimpse into its thinking that suggests its options may have narrowed to either maintaining or intensifying the rate cap.

Yell executives, understandably in our view, have not done very well at hiding their irritation. Yell issued a stinging rebuke of the commission's statement, and has refused to back off since.

The commission seems to think that it can will a share shift into existence by curtailing Yell's ability to raise prices. We think the commission has invoked the law of unintended consequences by forcing Yell to grow through innovation and improved service (both good outcomes), and it has also given the publisher a bit of good news to bring into sales calls each year ("Good morning, prices are lower again this year!").

Rather than accept that pricing intervention has failed because it is fundamentally wrong-headed, the commission seems to think it will work sooner or later if only it causes Yell enough pain.

We see the U.K. as a competitive market, with BT and Thomson competing for share, along with a smattering of other smaller players. Is Yell strong? Of course. In the U.S., its division Yellow Book has grown as a competitive publisher by exploiting a pricing umbrella. In the U.K., that umbrella has been all but folded up by the regulators, leaving competitors out in the wet.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  11:28 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [3]



Feb 8 2006
Yellow Book in Clicks Business
Yellow Book announced today that it has acquired Click Forward, a Coral Gables, Florida-based search engine marketing company. Terms were not disclosed. Yellow Book plans to use the assets gained through the acquisition to develop a local search product to sell through its more than 5,000 local sales representatives.

This deal is in keeping with Yellow Book's recent push to elevate its digital strategy to a higher level. The publisher has been accused by some in the investment community of paying too little attention to digital as it pursues growth opportunities in the traditional business. This acquisition certainly helps Yellow Book break out of the perception that it is all about print.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:35 | permalink | comments [2] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 3 2006
Mini Directories March On
One of the more controversial issues in the Yellow Pages business is the subject of companion directories. At last year�s Directory Driven Commerce event, Joe Walsh spoke adamantly against the increasing number of mini directories and their impact on the industry. He said the industry faces a companion directory backlash.

While some of these companions are indeed poor replicas of the real thing, particularly when a normal-size phonebook is simply shrunk by about 25 percent, others can be much more pleasing to the end user. The primary way to accomplish this is by avoiding type that is unreadable.

According to eLink, R.H. Donnelley will begin to introduce companion directories in Trumbull, Ohio; Sussex, New Jersey; and Citrus, Florida. My view is that while these are not RHD's first mini directories, they are the first ones it is building specifically as companions. More are likely to follow, but I was unable to reach anyone who would comment.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  John Kelsey at  16:38 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 2 2006
Coldplay Tickets, NFL Football, MTV
Recently I found myself "stuck" with some extra tickets for a Coldplay concert in Sacramento. So I did what everyone told me to do � put them up on Craigslist. Not a nibble. At the same time I posted the tickets on StubHub. Within a couple of days I had confirmation that someone wanted the tickets. StubHub sent me to a link to print out a FedEx label where upon I marched to the local postal service store, handed them my FedEx label and the tickets. Today, three days after the concert, I got confirmation that the proceeds from my tickets had been deposited into my PayPal account. Ten minutes later I directed PayPal to transfer the money to my checking account. This was a seamless and painless experience. StubHub seems to have figured out all the pieces to the puzzle and I, for one, will be turning there to buy and sell tickets.

Earlier this week the NFL awarded some set of games to its own NFL Network rather than the usual suspects who had bid on them � namely Fox, Comcast, CBS and some new bidders � Verizon in particular. That the NFL chose its own network points to the diminished role the traditional networks and carriers have in a world where the pace of convergence is accelerating. While the NFL Network's reach may be considerably smaller, it is obviously a highly targeted market that is � oh by the way � probably willing to pay to watch NFL games. And besides, go ask Joe's AAA Plumbing if he wants to advertise on the NFL Network � my guess is his answer will be "where do I sign."

MTV recently launched its broadband channel targeted at the 18-24 college crowd called Uber. The site mixes professional and amateur content into a constellation of images and sounds and information that in theory appeal to the audience. The college audience has long been desired by local advertisers � just consider the volume of burritos and pizzas consumed and you get the picture. It will be interesting to see if Uber can find a way to sell local advertising to Betty Joe's Homemade Pizza store while keeping the site sufficiently cool and edgy.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Neal Polachek at  11:07 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Feb 2 2006
Eniro Adds Click-to-Call
Swedish search and directory company Eniro has signed an agreement with Woize International to use the U.K.-based firm's technology to offer a click-to-call feature on its online product porfolio. You can read the press release here.

Eniro plans to offer the service for free initially to its 30,000 online customers as a way to add value to existing programs. Eniro is a leading player in print and online directories and search in the Nordic markets. Its chief rivals include the major "international" search engines, including Google, with which Eniro also is a partner. Offering click-to-call is consistent with Eniro's positioning as the search and directory service that facilitates buyer-seller interaction.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:55 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]





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