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First Annual 'Local Media Tracking Study': Yellow Pages Capture Greatest Consumer Reach and Trust Among Sources for Local Business Information

Research From Burke and comScore Find 16.9 Billion References to Yellow Pages in 2009

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 03/24/10 -- In a new annual study released today, more consumers said they referenced Yellow Pages local search solutions than any other source when searching for local business information.

Of consumers surveyed online and by telephone, 65 percent said they referenced print and/or Internet Yellow Pages within the past month when looking for local business information. Search engines scored second with 58 percent, flyers/coupons were 38 percent, newspapers were 33 percent, and magazines were 14 percent. When analyzed individually, print Yellow Pages were 54 percent and Internet Yellow Pages were 33 percent.

The Local Media Tracking Study, conducted by Burke and released by the Yellow Pages Association (YPA), examines consumer usage of Yellow Pages and other sources to find local businesses. A separate comScore study evaluated total usage of Internet Yellow Pages in 2009.

The study also found that consumers consider Yellow Pages the source they trust most to find accurate local information. More than two-thirds of consumers (67 percent) said that print or Internet Yellow Pages is the source they trust most for finding local business information, compared to 33 percent for search engines. When polled on accuracy of local business information, print and Internet Yellow Pages similarly scored highest with 68 percent, followed by search engines with 32 percent.

"Over the years, consumers have come to trust Yellow Pages as the most comprehensive and accurate resource for local business information," said Yellow Pages Association President Neg Norton. "Our advertisers benefit from the high level of qualified leads generated as a result of unrivaled trust in our listings. And through our partnerships with search engines like Google and Bing, our advertisers can also effectively reach consumers who prefer to start their local search with a search engine."

Burke and comScore Data Show Strong Annual Usage Growth Throughout 2009
Annual references to Internet and print Yellow Pages remained strong in 2009:

  • In total, consumers referenced print and Internet Yellow Pages 16.9 billion times in 2009.
  • comScore found that Internet Yellow Pages continued to chart growth, increasing from 4.6 billion in 2008 to 4.9 billion references in 2009.
  • Burke, relying on the new methodology combining Internet and telephone surveys for the first time, found that print Yellow Pages received 12 billion references in 2009.

The growth of Internet Yellow Pages demonstrates that consumers continue to seek out new ways to find local information, particularly through online and mobile sources. In recent months, Yellow Pages companies have launched new platforms and partnerships to deliver local business information to consumers through these new channels.

Burke's Local Media Tracking Study results also indicated growth in the reach (the number of U.S. adults who use Yellow Pages) and frequency (how often Yellow Pages are referenced per adult) in both print and Internet Yellow Pages between the first and second half of 2009:

  • The percentage of those surveyed who said they had used print Yellow Pages within the last month increased 12 percent over the course of the year, from 51.5 percent in the first quarter to 57.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
  • Respondents also turned to print Yellow Pages more frequently as the year progressed. In the first quarter, there was an average of 0.93 references per U.S. adult per week. By the fourth quarter, that had grown 19 percent to 1.11 references per adult per week.
  • Internet Yellow Pages saw an even sharper 20 percent growth during the year, with the percentage of adults that used Internet Yellow Pages within the past month growing from 31.6 percent in the first quarter to 37.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
  • The frequency of Internet Yellow Pages usage grew 24 percent from the first quarter (0.54 references per week per adult) to the fourth quarter (0.67 references per week per adult).

"The combined reach of print and Internet Yellow Pages provides small and medium-sized business with the strongest platform available to target potential customers," Norton said. "In today's fragmented media environment, Yellow Pages' hybrid approach is the best way to attract consumers who get their information from multiple places before making a purchasing decision."

Research Methodology
The Burke 2009 Local Media Tracking Study was based on 8,062 interviews conducted in 2009. The report is the first survey regarding Yellow Pages usage to incorporate a multi-mode data collection technique, of which 80 percent of interviews were conducted through online panels and 20 percent through offline phone interviews. Participants were asked the following question: "We would like to know when, if ever, you last used some potential sources to look up information to find a business, or to shop or look for a product or service in your local area. Please include your use at home, at work, or elsewhere." Previous Yellow Pages usage surveys by KN/SRI from 1985-2008 were conducted solely by telephone, and therefore cannot be used for year-over-year comparisons to the Burke data.

The comScore qSearch Local & IYP data employs a proprietary panel of over one million U.S. panelists. These panelists agree to have their Internet behavior confidentially monitored and captured anonymously.

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 $31 billion worldwide ($13 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 Burke
Founded in 1931, Burke is an independent, full service marketing research and decision support company. For more information, please visit http://www.burke.com.

About comScore
comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

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