AT&T Promotes Local Search in Earnings Call

The image “” 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, 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 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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