Directory Publisher R.H. Donnelley announced today that it will partner with Yahoo! to give its advertisers more substantial presence on Yahoo! Local. This is part of its "triple play" effort to gain local listings distribution in print (Dex Directories), IYP (DexKnows) and through online partners.
Analagous to the long term triple play efforts of cable providers and telecos (bundling voice, data, and video products), this works towards gaining better distribution of existing content. In this case, the content is the listings that RHD's sales force brings in through traditional yellow pages ad sales.
According to the press release, this will come in three flavors:
Featured Listings — Sponsored listings with guaranteed placement on the first or second search results pages for broader exposure in a specific geography or category
Enhanced Listings — Sponsored listings that offer the ability to add a detailed business description, photos, tagline and coupons to create greater online visibility for businesses and enhance their appearance within organic results
Yahoo! Maps Business Listings — Sponsored listings within the context of a map-based view
The new addition gives the sales channel another tool in its toolbelt -- one that advertisers are increasingly asking for -- for a better cross-platform product. Direct distribution on Yahoo! Local also augments the general effort at RHD towards better online distribution, similarly accelerated a year ago when it acquired LocalLaunch.
This also joins other similar deals that have been formed in the past such as that between Superpages and Google; and you can expect directories/IYPs to increasingly develop online distribution and better ad bundling efforts.
As examined in the Kelsey Group's Local Search and IYP forecast released in March, IYPs will see a greater CAGR than the aggregate local search market, because of their physical sales channel, and the ability to execute more effectively on cross platform sales strategies.
For RHD, This deal applies to the 14 state region (Western and Midwestern states), where it distributes print directories, and where its sales force roams.