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paidContent 50: The world’s most successful digital media companies

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43. YP Holdings

Advertising, United States (Private)

Last year’s rank: #9

Digital Content Revenue

$990,000,000 (30% of total)

Digital Snapshot

AT&T published the U.S. Yellow Pages local ads directory, whose decline to online rivals it has been trying to arrest with its brand. It claims 700,000 local advertisers around the U.S., 38 million monthly uniques across web and mobile, and a network of over 300 online and mobile publishing affiliates. Plus, YP claims to have facilitated over $150 billion in subsequent transactions in 2011.

Key Move

In May 2012, AT&T Advertising Solutions, which published the printed Yellow Pages, and AT&T Interactive, which operates and YPmobile, spun out into a separate company, YP Holdings, which Cerberus Capital invested in to gain a controlling stake. The move marries Yellow Pages’ various efforts, regardless of the medium through which consumers access their listings. Divorce from AT&T could allow YP to refocus and flourish — or, AT&T may have cannily cut YP adrift rather than be dragged down by it amid intense competition from search services and location apps.

Our Methodology

 YP stated in a press release upon its formation: “As a standalone company, YP had $3.3 billion in revenues in 2011. Approximately 30 percent, or nearly $1 billion, of YP’s 2011 revenues derived from its digital and mobile platforms.”

Source: Merger press release

— RA

21 Responses to “paidContent 50: The world’s most successful digital media companies”

  1. Good Job Mr. Robert

    I am a freelancing SEO and SMM professional. The recent update of google penguin and panda has changed the SEO pattern radically.

    And google has done this algorithm change to spread their digital ads business nothing than this.

    I really hate this because, making loss to others for their own profit is a Digital Crime and Weak Business policy from my view. Check my site Arsenal Highlights

  2. ciaranj

    If you want to rank things on revenue, fine. But then don’t call it the ‘Most Succesful List’: Microsoft might ‘make’ $3.9b on digital content, but it also loses around $3b every year too.

  3. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I think this is a terrific list despite any reservations some people have about the methodology. It really demonstrates the huge growth potential of digital media companies in some of the emerging markets. Also, as a scientist – I note Elsevier being top 5 in revenue (Elsevier is publisher behind many of the top scientific journals).

  4. Mindbendingpuzzles

    What about Valve and their digital games platform: Steam. I know they are a private company and figures are hard to come by but in 2011 Forbes reckoned they have more than 50% of the 4 billion dollar PC games download market. That is huge.

    I would really love to see Paid Content do some investigation on Valve because they are an incredibly innovative company who really push digital retailing to its limits.

  5. Groupon and Monster are’t really media companies. I’m not even sure that ad agencies should qualify in the same category as Viacom or Time Warner. Totally different business model.

  6. Brendan

    Why is eBay not in this list? They have an ad business on and their classified sites, and the seller fees they collect are essentially paid ads since the platform doesn’t handle the items. This list is also missing Alibaba Group from China (including Taobao), and Gree from Japan.

  7. Zato Gibson

    “Creating this list wasn’t easy.”

    I can imagine. Manipulating the numbers to get Microsoft into the top 10 must have been really tough.