Local.com Gives AT&T's YP.com Ads Top Billing
Local.com on Monday announced an expansion of its strategic distribution agreement with AT&T Interactive. Per the deal, AT&T Interactive's YP.com advertiser listings will be given premiere placement on Local.com search results pages.
The expanded one-year agreement is also intended to increase collaboration between the companies on new distribution, traffic, product and revenue initiatives.
The YP Local Ad Network is made up of some 300 publishers, according to AT&T Interactive.
Said Rob Luskey, vice president of business development at Local.com: "We believe [the deal] will secure additional long-term revenue benefits."
Todd Rose, vice president of business development at AT&T Interactive, added that it gave "advertisers the opportunity to increase their reach and drive leads to their businesses."
Local.com offers a platform for users to write ratings and reviews for any business listing that appears on the site. Users can enter comments, rate a business using a five-star rating system and view all of the reviews they have previously submitted. Ratings and reviews entered on the site appear on business listing profile pages, subject to a user validation process.
Along with strategic partnerships, Local.com has looked to mergers and acquisitions to increase service offerings and market share.
In May, it acquired location-based product search company Krillion for $3.5 million. In February, it agreed to buy rich media provider Rovion for $1.5 million.
Also in February, AT&T said it reached the highest ad revenue during Q4 2010 for Internet services offered by its local ad business unit. One of the carrier's success stories -- the YP mobile platform, AT&T Interactive's flagship mobile platform -- saw search queries grow 125% in 2010, compared with the prior year.
The platform provides access to millions of local business listings accessible via a mobile app on millions of Web-enabled mobile phones across all U.S. wireless carriers.
In March, BIA/Kelsey predicted that local online ad revenues will reach $42.5 billion by 2015. That would represent a nearly 100% increase over the $21.7 billion spent on local online advertising in 2010, and a compound annual growth rate of 14.4%.
The growth is contingent on an anticipated improvement in the U.S. economy, and a continued rise in overall local advertising, which BIA/Kelsey expects will hit $153.5 billion by 2015 -- up from $136.3 billion in 2010.