EU: Print vs. the Internet

The Economist has a fairly bland article covering Yell and the outlook for print YP in Europe:

The problem for yellow-pages businesses in developed markets is that people are increasingly searching for local services online. A survey by the World Advertising Research Center found that in 2005, 57% of Europeans said they would turn first to the printed yellow pages when seeking goods and services. A year later that number had fallen to 51%, and 24% said they would go online, up from 20% in 2005.

Not much to say except that the Internet will capture usage and the print book will retain usage in some segments more than others.

The “agency” and “multi-platform” story is the one that the YP industry has to tell the market and its advertisers both. However, as I suggest in my previous post, the online product must evolve and splinter into a set of rich vertical directories or a broader and more “flavorful” horizontal directory — or both. The mobile product must be different still with more emphasis on personalization.


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