YP CEO David Krantz: ‘We Were Mobile Before Mobile Was Cool!’

By Shawn Paul Wood Comment

David-Krantz-YP-mdThis week, Adweek offered readers the gentle musings of YP CEO David Krantz. In case your Web browser doesn’t have that URL in its search history, that would be the former Yellow Pages

For the Millennials out there in AgencySpy land, that is what was once called a phone book.

It was a bundled array of print technology listing the numbers and logos of anyone in your neck of the woods. What was formerly the listing service of AT&T Interactive decided to skew a little younger by breaking out the two-letter moniker.

In the interview, Krantz stuck up for his brand, downplaying the influence 0f all those cool kids at Google and stuff.

One of the chief takeaways from this interview was Krantz’s stance on mobile. In fact, he claims (with some legitimacy) that the Yellow Pages YP’s “technology” is evolving to where they used to be — the phone. 

YP says its audience is 50 percent mobile. As people increasingly use smartphones instead of phone books, do you think your brand needs to become even more mobile to remain competitive in the next three to five years?
I do. Mobile is going to be the way everyone consumes everything, especially when it comes to local information, since you can carry everything with you now in real time.

Real-time needs are why phone books were created. Back in the day, people didn’t have a number for the pizza guy, the store, or even an ex-girlfriend to prank call (or so I’ve heard), so they broke open a phone book and got to rotary dialing. It was the Internet. And now, YP is playing catch up in a field they owned for decades.

Do you have data about YP’s mobile app usage?
We’ve had over 10 million downloads of our app. We have over 30 million monthly unique [visits] across our app and mobile websites.

And what interview would be complete without a little bravado?

But to many, YP isn’t the first brand they think of when it comes to mobile. What’s your response to that?
Our attitude was “mobile first” back in 2008 before it was cool to be mobile first. We had a mobile app in Apple’s first iTunes store. … And we had $378 million in mobile revenue last year.

Now be honest: when was the last time you thought about YP and its services beyond the killing of roaches?