Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

DMS ’10: Opportunities for Yellow Pages on the iPad

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Launched earlier this year, Apple’s iPad is already a popular innovation platform for Yellow Pages companies. And based on today’s panel, I’m convinced the iPad and other tablet versions—including those featuring Google’s Android software—will offer unlimited opportunities for our industry moving forward.

Mike Wilson, GM and VP, Digital Media for Yellowbook, said the development of his company’s iPad application is a continuation of its overall distribution strategy. Wilson said there is always a lively debate going on at Yellowbook about how to better distribute content and generate additional exposure—but that the debate raged like never before with the iPad.

Wilson highlighted how rapid consumer adoption of the iPad and other tablet devices drove Yellowbook’s interest in the device. He said that 2 million iPads were sold within the first 60 days of the device hitting stores—and that Apple will soon produce 3 million iPad devices per month to keep up with demand. He noted that by 2012, iPad sales will eclipse Apple’s Mac revenue—a remarkable feat. He also said that sales of tablets featuring Android software will eclipse PC revenue sales in just two years.

Wilson showed off the incredible interface on Yellowbook’s table app, which is the #10 most popular in the iPad lifestyle category and #5 overall free app for the Android. Yellowbook’s app features basic business information (address, phone number, map), social media integration (Facebook and Twitter), and reviews. It also includes embedded video and links to local business websites… and get this, the ability to “Skype” a local business!

Moving forward, Wilson noted that Yellowbook is looking at ways to leverage group buying opportunities on the app through its new Weforia.com website. He also said that Yellowbook will soon roll out a barcode scanning tool that will allow users to find local real-time inventory of desired products.

Ron Mintle, president and CEO of Yellow Magic, also highlighted his company’s iPad app, which takes a different approach by retaining all the facets of a print Yellow Pages directory with the added benefit of being searchable. One of the great things about Yellow Magic’s app is that local companies can update their listings throughout the year when they need to, as well as take advantage of splash screens, sponsored search, banners, and other features.

Another interesting offering from Yellow Magic is an iPad app that provides Yellow Pages sales teams with the ability to complete mobile electronic contracts and signature captures. This tool allows sales teams to monitor sales territories, reps, canvasses, and revenue in real-time and eliminates the need for sales call reports—allowing for more time for selling. It will be exciting to see this app in action out in the field.

And while not a native of the Yellow Pages industry, Tobias Dengel, CEO of Willowtree Apps, concluded the session by providing great insight into opportunities on the iPad and the need for our industry to continue innovating to stay ahead of the curve. He shared two great iPad apps as examples of what’s possible: an animated Alice in Wonderland app and the Kayak app, which allows users to search flight and hotel prices. Be sure to check them out!

Canadian Press: YPG Expects More Digital Growth

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There’s no shortage of news on this blog about Yellow Pages Group’s extensive push into digital this year.

YPG—which rebranded in March touting its “evolution into a performance media and marketing company”—has made several major moves, including purchasing online directories 411.ca and Canpages.ca and vertical websites RedFlagsDeals.com and CanadianDriver.com, integrating new Facebook social plugins on its flagship YellowPages.ca website, adding an iPad app, and other initiatives.

So I wasn’t surprised to read a Canadian Press article late last week discussing a pending addition to the company’s digital portfolio: website building for small and medium-sized businesses.

According to the president and CEO of Yellow Media (which owns YPG), Marc Tellier, the company will create a new website building offering that focuses on the functionality, not just the look and feel, of business sites.

“The aesthetic nature of your site has sweet nothing to do with how you are going to get indexed on one of the leading search engines,” Tellier said in an interview for the article.

Tellier predicted 25% growth in digital revenues for 2011, as the company continues to expand its portfolio. YPG’s outlook trends well with BIA/Kelsey’s recent prediction that digital YP revenues in the U.S. will grow at a 17.2% compound annual rate through 2014.

With the addition of website building, YPG is poised to become a one-stop destination for the digital needs of local businesses. YPG is a great model for Yellow Pages companies globally, demonstrating how to grow and adapt to today’s changing media environment. I look forward to seeing what is next in store for YPG’s local business clients and consumers.

Amazon: E-Books Now Top Hardcover Sales

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We’ve blogged recently about increased consumer usage of mobile devices such as Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android phones, and how Yellow Pages companies need to continue to create innovative mobile offerings in order to capture additional leads for their local business customers.

And now this week, Amazon, the popular online retailer, is making headlines for passing its own digital milestone—one that further emphasizes the need for our industry to embrace rapid consumer adoption of mobile offerings.

According to Amazon, during the last quarter, electronic books for its Kindle e-reader outnumbered sales for its hardcover books for the first time ever. In fact, Amazon said it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books during the past three months—and that that rate increased over the last four weeks to 180 electronic books for every 100 hardcover copies.

While the company did not disclose how paperback sales compare with e-book sales—paperback sales are likely still higher than e-book sales—it did note that it took just 33 months since the Kindle’s introduction for its sales to surpass hardcover sales, despite the fact the company has sold hardcover books for 15 years.

I doubt that Amazon will be pulling hardcover books off the site anytime soon, but clearly digital has momentum.  Likewise, we still find our print directories to be a trusted and referenced tool for ready to buy consumers – and they will continue to be.  But I’m proud of our industry’s efforts so far this year in developing new offerings in the digital and mobile space, including adding new local social search sites and social networking channels, partnering with major search engines and local directories, launching SEO/SEM program and mobile apps, and so on. I think today’s news is additional indication that we’re moving in the right direction in quickly adapting our business strategies to take advantage of opportunities in the mobile space.

Google’s Android Jumps in Share; Smartphones Stay Hot

Friday, July 9, 2010

Over the past months, we’ve seen Yellow Pages companies launch apps for mobile devices for iPhone, Android and other wireless platforms that help local searchers find business information on the go.

It seems like much of the attention has been focused around the apps developed for iPhone and iPad.  But the buzz about Android continues to grow, suggesting that we can’t forget about other mobile operating systems.

Consider this new data from comScore I saw at fortune.com:  Android had some significant gains in market share between February and May of this year, moving from 9% to 13% of smartphone subscribers.  That’s the biggest jump of any platform – in fact, all the other mobile platforms (RIM, Apple, Microsoft, and Palm) lost some share during that some time period.

And according to the comScore numbers, mobile is hot all around.  By the end of May, 49.1 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones – that’s up 8.1% from the previous period.  Despite losing share to Google Android, most smartphone platforms continue to gain subscribers as the smartphone market overall continues to grow.

This growth presents plenty of opportunity to local search companies.  As we know, new features and hardware are constantly emerging that drive people to download the next great OS or purchase a new device.  We have to keep up with these trends, understand how consumers use mobile so that we continue to be the most trusted, most accurate, and most convenient source to find a local business when you need it.

BIA/Kelsey’s DMS ’10 Conference Just Around the Corner

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

As we mentioned last month, the Yellow Pages Association is once again partnering with BIA/Kelsey to present one of the most important industry conferences of the year, Directional Media Strategies (DMS) ’10.

Scheduled for Sept. 14-16 at the InterContinental Hotel in Dallas, the conference will focus on the Yellow Pages industry’s best strategies for pursuing new opportunities in today’s rapidly changing media environment.

While speakers are still being selected, the general agenda is posted and includes a variety of interesting sessions:

  • The iPad — A Game Changer for Yellow Pages? The iPhone has been a huge catalyst for innovation in mobile Yellow Pages. Will the iPad, with its much larger screen, prove to be an even more significant new form factor for digital directories?
  • Mobile Yellow Pages Leaves the Laboratory. Mobile Yellow Pages has moved well past the science project stage, beyond the traffic supplement stage and is now well into the monetization stage. More and more publishers are generating a discrete, fast growing revenue stream. We will hear from directory executives at the leading edge of mobile Yellow Pages monetization.
  • Social Media + Yellow Pages = A New Lease on Life? Directory publishers worldwide have been investing resources in building social platforms in the hope of creating rich content in the form of consumer reviews, plus engagement with a new set of users otherwise disengaged from Yellow Pages brands. How are these efforts faring?
  • Verticals Showcase: Maids, Shades and Auto Repair. Vertical search has been gradually migrating from its original core of travel, jobs and homes to more explicitly local categories — home and personal services, retail, professional services and so on. In this special showcase, we’ll get a taste of how some of the more compelling local verticals out there generate content, attract users, form partnerships and, of course, make money.

As you can see, DMS ’10 will feature discussions on many of the major topics facing our industry and its individual companies—hosted by one of the most respected analysts in the field. It’s definitely not to be missed.

For more information, including registration and speaker submissions, visit the DMS ’10 website here. We’ll share additional information right here on the blog as soon as it becomes available.

Yellow Pages Group Launches iPad App

Thursday, June 17, 2010

As Apple’s iPad continues to gain popularity worldwide, Canada’s Yellow Pages Group announced this week that it is the latest Yellow Pages company to introduce a free iPad app.  Previously, Yellowbook, Avantar, and Yellow Magic introduced new apps designed for the tablet device.

YPG’s app—which comes on the heels of the company’s announcement in May that its mobile apps have attracted one million downloads—features business and residential search, reverse phone look-up, local proximity-based search and a “favorites” tool. Additionally, users can view video clips on participating merchants’ pages and share listing results with others via e-mail or text message.

Greg Sterling at Screenwerk also notes that the app links to other YPG properties including Urbanizer, Restuarantica and RedFlagDeals.com.

You can download YPG’s iPad app here. It’s great to see that a growing number of our members are embracing this exciting new technology and creating added value for both our local business clients and consumers.

BIA/Kelsey Launches New Mobile App Featuring Industry News & Analysis

Friday, June 11, 2010

These days, not only is our industry transforming to introduce new platforms for information sharing, but so are those who cover it.

Our friends at BIA/Kelsey are launching a new free mobile app that provides users with access to local media news and analysis from its popular blogs: Local Media Watch, Digital Strategies for Broadcasting, Global Yellow Pages and Mobile Local Media.

Now iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users can keep up on breaking industry news and thoughts on the local media landscape— everything from broadcasting and print to Yellow Pages and local search, according to the release. In the near future, BIA/Kelsey will add additional mobile platforms, as well as the firm’s conference and webinar content.

You can download the BIA/Kelsey app via the iTunes store by clicking here.

And speaking of conferences, let me take this opportunity to once again remind everyone of our partnership with BIA/Kelsey on the upcoming Directional Media Strategies (DMS) conference. Each year, the event brings buyers and sellers together for influential sessions on the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing local media landscape. DMS ’10 is taking place September 14-16, 2010, at the InterContinental Hotel in Dallas, Texas. For more information, see our previous post.

Yellowbook Launches New iPad App

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Yellow Pages iPad app craze continues.

In a first for a major Yellow Pages company, Yellowbook announced this week that it’s joining Avantar and Yellow Magic in launching an application for Apple’s new tablet. According to the release, the free app—now available for download via the Apple App Store—allows users to find any neighborhood business across the country.

One of the interesting features of the app is the integrated information/maps split screen view—tailor-made for iPad—which generates results that feature expandable pushpin tags for each business. Users can tap pushpins for more information about a business, read reviews, get driving directions by Google Maps, or click through to a business’ website. The new app joins the company’s existing portfolio of yellowbook.com mobile web apps for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and other wireless platforms.

iPad users here at the Conference are looking forward to downloading these apps and trying them out. It’s exciting that our members are taking advantage of this great opportunity to create new advertising opportunities on one of the hottest new devices this year.

Yellow Pages Companies Launch iPad Apps

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When Apple announced its highly-anticipated iPad table device in late January, I expressed optimism that Yellow Pages companies would embrace the new platform as another medium for its local business clients to reach new potential customers.

Well, my prediction didn’t take long to become reality.

As iPad hit shelves this weekend—and hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic customers got their hands on the new device—Yellow Pages companies including Avantar and Yellow Magic introduced new apps designed for the product.

Local mobile search leader Avantar, a sister company to Yellow Pages Directories, announced the first Yellow Pages app for iPad. Based on the screenshots on their Web site, it appears the app allow users to seamlessly search for local businesses based on various categories, share their results, review and add reviews and ratings, as well as view locations on a map. The app will join Avantar’s suite of mobile apps, which now operate on iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android devices.

Additionally, Yellow Magic, which currently offers Yellow Pages apps for iPhone and iPod Touch, also introduced a new iPad app to its mobile portfolio. Interestingly, Yellow Magic apps include “all facets of the printed directory including covers, community pages, tabs, indexes…etc…” so that, “all elements and advantages of the printed book are retained with the added benefit of it all being searchable.” According to the company, this approach satisfies younger demographics who are increasingly using digital devices when searching for neighborhood business information.

I’m thrilled that Yellow Pages is taking part in the launch of yet another platform for local search. Our involvement shows our industry’s ability to leverage the latest trends to deliver real results for our business customers and the consumers who use our products.