Comcast’s Yellowpages TV

Picture 13AT&T has been putting Yellowpages.com listings on TV through its U-Verse cable-TV alternative for some time. Last week MediaPost wrote about a similar offering through Comcast, with click-to-call (PPCall probably in the future):

An arm of the Comcast Media Center has begun pitching a “Yellow Pages on TV” application to cable operators to offer on their local systems. The interactive-TV system allows one’s fingers to do the walking — with a remote control.

The function, among other capabilities, allows a viewer to scroll through lists of business types or search by company name — then access contact info. A viewer can also click a “call me” button initiating a call to a business, which immediately calls back.

There are several interesting dimensions to this:

  • TV as another digital distribution platform for YP publishers/advertisers
  • PPCall as the model
  • TV as another place to showcase YP video advertising (video would be all but essential I would think)

But there are indirectly competitive dimensions too:

  • Comcast sells video ads to local businesses, with a YP-like sales force of roughly 3K reps.
  • Those videos cost much more than a video ad purchased through Yellowpages.com (however YP.com distribution/views are going to be less today)
  • Cable cos and Telcos are competitors for ISP offerings and for TV.

Yellow pages publishers are compelled to develop new distribution for their advertising, including new digital distribution as search becomes less viable for them, with SEO’d listings falling “below the fold”:

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