The paidContent 50: The Most Successful Digital Media Companies In The U.S.

9. AT&T


U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $1.09 billion

Snapshot: AT&T is trying hard to leverage its 5,000-person strong local sales force to duplicate online the success of its (now deteriorating) print directory business. Its flagship site is (as in Yellow Pages), which gets more than 23 million unique visitors a month. Much of its strategy has been “me too.” AT&T launched a Yelp copycat site in 2010, and earlier this month said it would soon offer daily deals in local markets.

Key digital move in 2010: AT&T tried to challenge Yelp’s dominance of the local-business reviews space, launching, a site that promises to help users find the “best places to go or businesses to call,” as a companion to The company said it wanted to use the site to make local business searches “deeper and more relevant,” but it doesn’t look like that has been much of a success. remains in beta, and the site was down for the better part of the last month because AT&T said it was “busy trying to spruce things up.”

How we generated our estimate: BIA/Kelsey estimates that online directory ad sales made up about 26 percent of AT&T Advertising Solutions’ $4.2 billion in annual revenue in 2010. A spokeswoman told us that during the fourth quarter of 2010, online ad sales were about $250 million, which matches the research firm’s estimate. We’re not including the digital content revenue AT&T generates through the AT&T Media Mall, which sells ringtones, media subscriptions and more.