Yellow Pages are now available at my local CVS just outside Washington, DC. In my apartment building, few residents bother to pick up the Yellow Pages that are dropped in the lobby. CVS seems an even less propitious place to distribute Yellow Pages. After all, a Yellow Pages book is relatively bulky. A shopper at CVS would have to carry the book farther than those who could pick it up at their home. Moreover, persons typically go to CVS for small, immediate-need purchases. Yellow Pages isn’t that sort of product.
Yellow Pages in CVS is another sign of increasing turmoil in traditional print media. Historically, Yellow Pages have been a highly profitable business. In 2007, Yellow Pages generated $14.3 billion in revenue. But the near future for the traditional Yellow Pages looks quite grim.
Traditional Yellow Pages losses are likely to be some new media’s gains. Despite the popularity of disparaging it, advertising is not likely to decrease over the long run. Moreover, advertising for small businesses amounts to a big pot of money: businesses with less than $1 million in annual business receipts spent $27 billion on advertising in 2007. Seeking local advertising revenue is likely to be an important driver of competition in mapping, geo-location, and mobile services.