April 13, 2012 smz-blog

$3.3 billion in revenue – still worth it?


– John Gielow, Director of Digital Strategy

With this week’s reported sale of ATT’s print yellow page and yp.com business units to private equity firm Cerberus, the immediate reaction is … just another nail in the coffin for the yellow page business. 

At SMZ, we have placed clients’ print and online yellow page business for 25+ years.  We’re not pretending to dispute the continued shift of print to online, but let us not forget the millions of US adults who do not have smart phones yet.  We’re not talking about the under 40 crowd who respond to these stories in amazement that anyone ever uses a print directory. We’re talking about your parents,  aunts, uncles who have lived a lifetime without being attached to a mobile device 24/7. 

Yes, the print product will continue to decline over time, but the 10,000 boomers who now retire every day in this country (and have money to spend) still use the product at some level.  Plus and the online companion (yp.com) is a top search engine, below the Google/Yahoo/Bing big boys.  When you combine the print and yp.com units they collectively have value.  Value to the tune of $950 million in the eyes of Cerberus.   

Meaning sure, $3.3 billion is worth it to them.  And somebody’s got to keep those boomers happy.


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