AT&T Promotes Local Search in Earnings Call

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.att.com/Common/att_rev1/images/att_header_logo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.From Seeking Alpha, here’s the relevant discussion of print YP and local search from the AT&T earnings call:

Our third major segment is advertising and publishing, with highlights on slide 24. As you know, we have a large print directory business with 1,250 Yellow Page titles published annually. But also as a benefit that came from our BellSouth acquisition, we now have 100% ownership of yellowpages.com, the premier name in Internet directory services. This business is experiencing strong growth, with revenues up 56% in the first quarter versus last year.

Plus, we’re pulling together a variety of local search options that begin to converge with our voice, broadband, and wireless services. Things like send-to-mobile, which lets Internet users send search results from yellowpages.com to their wireless phones as a text message. We also recently launched an optimized mobile browser interface available to subscribers of AT&T Wireless service. Last month, we launched YP411, bringing text message business search to consumer cell phones and PDA devices.

Our advertising and publishing operations produce margins approaching 50% with stable revenues and strong cash flow. They have great opportunities for innovation and integration with our other services. We believe they have a promising future.

AT&T now “owns” the yellow pages brand (including 1-800-Yellow Pages, not discussed above) and has a great opportunity to build unified, multi-platform distribution of that content (DA, wireless, online, TV). Its potential vulnerability resides in not being able to evolve the online user experience quick enough to a fickle and changing marketplace.


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