Let the market decide
One of the arguments that the industry makes to the anti-print Yellow Pages crowd who get so twisted that they receive 6, 7, or more directories a year at their doorstep, is that the marketplace will ultimately decided which products survive and prosper, and which exit the business.
With the unprecedented growth in book publishing over the past few years, outside of a few very small, somewhat dubious publishers, there really haven’t been many cases we could definitively point to where that was true, until yesterday.
Reports from various sources (Kelsey Group, others) indicate that Idearc will cease production of some 28 independent directory titles which amounts to some 7.6 million copies (or about 6% of their total distribution). This will also result in about 200 people being laid-off and several offices being closed.
What brought this about? Current economic conditions certainly where a contributor but the growing volume of Yellow Pages in some markets will just not support the level of small business leads needed to provide the ROI required by advertisers. In effect, too much competition diluted what every publisher could offer to its advertisers.
As a result, the marketplace decided which products should continue and which should leave.