YPA: Print ‘Stable,’ IYP Growing

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The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) put out a press release that asserts “print usage is stable” and IYP usage is growing. It cites third parties for both propositions. From the release:

  • Print usage remained stable with 13.4 billion print Yellow Pages references, unchanged from 2006, according to the 2007 Knowledge Networks/SRI (KN/SRI) Industry Usage Study, while comScore reports Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) searches increased 15 percent in 2007 to 3.8 billion, up from 2006’s 3.3 billion IYP searches.
  • Approximately 87 percent of the U.S. population used the print Yellow Pages in 2007. (KN/SRI)
  • Average number of monthly IYP searchers up 16 percent: 73 million IYP searchers per month in 2007, compared to 63.1 million IYP searchers per month in 2006. (comScore)
  • Of the 144 million people performing local searches online in December 2007, over half (51 percent) used IYPs. (comScore)

The yellow pages industry is now doing what the newspaper industry is doing, which is talking about the combined reach of the traditional and print products. This makes sense from a marketing standpoint.

In the US there are roughly 210+ million Internet users (out of 300 million people), per Nielsen. According to the YPA numbers above that means that roughly 69% of Internet users are performing local search (and half of them are using IYP sites) in a given month.

I have a standard rant about the comScore methodology and, more generally, about the way the industry narrowly defines and thinks about local. Given my cold/flu, I won’t reproduce that again. Suffice to say that these numbers, though impressive, don’t reflect the true character or volume of local activity happening online.

The Internet is more about local (read: offline) than it is about e-commerce or anything else. Local is not limited to SMB advertising, to IYPs or to maps. It’s about the way the Internet influences offline activity and consumer purchase behavior. It cuts across virtually every single category: classifieds/verticals, search, video, social media, etc.

I’ll keep saying it until people start to clue in . . .

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Related: eMarketer weighs in on Internet-influenced offline sales:

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4 Responses to “YPA: Print ‘Stable,’ IYP Growing”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    I think there is a typo: 210+ million users…

    I too agree- eCommerce is the shadow of search.

    Get well soon!

  2. MerchantCircle Survey: $100 Monthly Spend Max « Screenwerk Says:

    […] back the survey (and my earlier YPA post) are part of what will become an ongoing stream of dueling datapoints and press releases. Online ad […]

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks Tim. Fixed it.

  4. Yellow Pages-Internet or Paper? Says:

    […] “The yellow pages industry is now doing what the newspaper industry is doing, which is talking about the combined reach of the traditional and print products. This makes sense from a marketing standpoint.”  Greg Sterling   YPA: Print ‘Stable,’ IYP Growing […]

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