SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

Yellow Pages Association

July 29, 2010 09:15 ET

Study Shows Double Digit Growth of Local Mobile Usage, Unlocking Access to Younger, Wealthier, On-the-Go Consumers

comScore Research Shows That Mobile Internet Yellow Pages Audience Up 14% Year-Over-Year to 17.3 Million Users Monthly

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ--(Marketwire - July 29, 2010) -  Consumers looking for local businesses are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access Internet Yellow Pages and local sites, while similar local searches performed on personal computers grew at a steady but slower pace, according to new data released today.

The study conducted by comScore, Inc., a leading Web behavior research firm, and released by the Yellow Pages Association (YPA), looks at the online local search industry, exploring usage trends, profiling searchers and their engagement with search options.

The number of mobile subscribers accessing business directories on a mobile phone increased 14 percent year-over-year to 17.3 million users in March 2010, extending the reach of Internet Yellow Pages beyond just the personal computer. This increase outpaced 10 percent growth in the number of mobile media users who browsed the mobile web, used applications or downloaded content during the same time period.

"Mobile offers significant opportunity, both for consumers who need convenient and reliable sources of local information on-the-go, and also for local search providers that are making this content available in new and innovative ways," said Neg Norton, president, YPA. "Yellow Pages and other local sites that have a legacy for providing trusted local business information via print directories and Web search tools are best poised to take advantage of this phenomenally versatile and interactive media. Mobile allows them to extend Internet Yellow Pages to consumers wherever they are."

Apps and Mobile Browsers Clock in Growth

Mobile browser was the most common access method for users, with 10.8 million subscribers in March 2010 and 21 percent year-over-year growth. But even as the browser remained the most used mobile feature for access, apps grew at a more rapid pace with 42 percent year-over-year growth, totaling 4.1 million subscribers in March 2010.

Mobile Users Are Desirable Consumers

The comScore study finds that mobile media attracts a highly desirable consumer segment for advertisers. Mobile usage of business directories unlocks a younger, wealthier user base to advertisers. According to the report:

  • 58 percent are 34 or younger.
  • Over half have a household income in excess of $75,000.
  • The number of people accessing business directories on a mobile device at least once per week increased more than 16 percent year-over-year to nearly five million in March 2010.

Mobile users also access content that is attractive for many advertisers. Mobile users who access business directories are three and half times more likely as the average mobile media user to access women's magazine content, health information, real estate listings, and job listings via their mobile devices.

Local Search on Personal Computers

As local mobile grew double digits, local searches on personal computers saw single digit growth year-over-year. Searches on Internet Yellow Pages and portal sites increased 4 percent to 444 million in March 2010, or 5.3 billion annually. The overall universe of core web search -- where users search for any kind of information on a major Internet search portal like Google or Bing -- increased 8 percent to 15.4 billion searches in March 2010, or 187.3 billion annually.

Diving deeper into personal computer usage, people access Internet Yellow Pages and local online sites in a number of ways. Some visit Internet Yellow Pages sites directly by typing in the URL or with a bookmark, while others access Internet Yellow Pages through feed from other sites such as Google and Yahoo. Traffic to Internet Yellow Pages from these web search sites increased three points from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010, to 44 percent of visits. Direct traffic also increased over the same time period, up four points to 32 percent, while referrals from affiliate sites (advertisements, e-mail marketing, and other partner sites) decreased six points to 25 percent.

"What's incredible about the growth in local search is that, even during a time of recession when many consumers reined in spending, the need to find a local business certainly didn't go away," said Norton. "Whether it is on a personal computer or a mobile device, consumers have more media choices than ever to find a product or service when they are ready to buy. Advertisers should be considering a multiplatform approach that combines a print, online, and mobile strategy designed with their target consumer in mind."

The comScore Local Search Study measured real-life Internet browsing, buying and transactional activity of approximately one million U.S. Internet users who provided permission to be monitored. The mobile study is a combination of comScore MobiLens, Mobile Metrix, Ad Metrix Mobile, and Plan Metrix Mobile. These tools utilize both 1) a unique survey sample of over 10,000 U.S. respondents each month, resulting in a sample in excess of 35,000 when running 3-month average reports and 2) a meter-based smartphone mobile browser measurement tool based on a representative panel of approximately 2,500 devices.

About The Yellow Pages Association
The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org and http://www.insideyp.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $27 billion worldwide ($12 billion in the U.S.) Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

About comScore
comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. comScore derives its information and analysis from a representative panel of more than two million Internet users worldwide who have provided explicit permission for comScore to install its patented measurement technology on their computers to monitor their online browsing, buying and other transactional activity across the entire World Wide Web. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

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