Borrell Study: Directory Companies Making Fastest Transition to Local Digital

Earlier this week, Borrell Associates released its 2011 Benchmarking Local Online Media study, which takes a deep dive into the local digital marketplace and documents the evolving landscape for local media.

Borrell surveyed and reviewed revenue figures from 5,700 local media companies including Yellow Pages, radio, newspapers, local TV and cable companies, as well as pure-play digital companies. Based on that data, Borrell projected that local online advertising – including everything from banners and streaming audio and video, to e-mail advertising, paid search and mobile advertising – will reach $19.9 billion in 2012, up from $16.4 billion in 2011.

Credit: Borrell Associates

Interestingly, the Borrell report indicates that Yellow Pages providers in particular are capitalizing on growth in the local online advertising space. According to the report, Yellow Pages providers today represent about $2.5 billion, or 12.6%, of total local online advertising revenue.

The Borrell report emphasized that directory companies are making the fastest transition to local online when compared to other local sources. And within Yellow Pages organizations, the share of digital revenue to total revenue is expanding at an “unprecedented rate,” representing one-fourth to as much as 50% of total revenues. Borrell said strong Yellow Pages representation is the result of changes providers have made to their sales staffs and new strategies to focus on digital sales. Just makes sense, since after all Yellow Pages were the original search engine.

Credit: Borrell Associates

Of the top local online advertising revenue leaders, Yellow Pages providers appear at the frontend of the list: AT&T at #2, Yellow Media at #7, Yellowbook at #9, SuperMedia at #10 and DexOne at #11. Local sites also rank high, including ReachLocal at #11, CityGrid Media at #18, and Yelp at #29.

I’m proud to see such a strong showing for our members in this report. It’s a testament to the hard work underway in our industry to adapt our business models to changing consumer trends, and demonstrates our leadership position in the evolving local online space. More to come!

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