Survey Data from comSore on Free 411 Usage

Over at Local Mobile Search I write about comScore survey data, commissioned Jingle, that offers some insight into the current state of consumer awareness and usage of free 411 directory assistance alternatives. The major services, with more to come, currently include:

  • 1-800-Free-411 (Jingle Networks)
  • 1-800-GOOG-411 (Google)
  • 1-800-Call-411 (Microsoft, built on Tellme)
  • 1-800-YellowPages (AT&T)

The data show relatively low awareness of these services, which is the principal challenge they face. (Consumers also remain largely ignorant of how much they pay for mobile 411.) But once they become aware and try these services they typically won’t return to traditional 411.

4 Responses to “Survey Data from comSore on Free 411 Usage”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I’ve used each of these services. I’m specifically interested in them because I’m a speech recognition engineer. Although I work for a brokerage house in Jacksonville Florida (a far cry from the wizards in silicon valley), the technical aspects of this space, and the massive volume of calls they must process, are really interesting to me. Particularly how these companies go about solving the problems inherent with delivering these types of speech recognition services that require massive grammars/vocabularies.

    In my opinion it all comes down to local content. In Jacksonville people are using a free directory assistance provider called Jax Say Hello. I’ve used it more often than the larger, well-known services because in addition to directory assistance, they also offer a bunch of local content. I think all of these services pretty much offer the same thing though. It comes down to the consumer choosing the service they like the most. Why do some people search with Google vs. Yahoo for content, but get their news from the local newspaper web site? Once it all shakes out, it will be the same thing with voice search and this directory assistance space.

    Does anyone know how many calls these services are processing?

    Kevin

  2. Mike Blumenthal Says:

    Hi Greg-

    I would be curious to know if these surveys allow you to discern whether Goog-411 awareness increased subsequent to their billboard campaign?

    Mike

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    They do not. You’d have to segment or filter geographically by location where Google was doing the ads and you’d have to have a “before and after” view. Alternatively, you could ask people how they learned about each service — that would be simpler but we haven’t done that.

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Jingle is processing many millions of calls per month, I don’t know the latest number but it may be available on their site. I believe it’s something like 17 or 18 million calls per month now.

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