Jingle Scores with SuperPages Relationship

One of the big challenges for the nascent ad-supported directory assistance category is ad coverage -- having enough advertisers to offer ads on enough calls to offset costs. According to its public statements, Jingle Networks is now doing call volumes of more than 20 million per month. The company asserts a per-call cost structure of roughly $.12 - $.15 per call and claims roughly 1000 advertisers to date. It has a direct sales channel for national accounts but myriad relationships with third party channels and small business aggregators such as ServiceMagic and Ingenio for local advertiser acquisitions.

With today's announced of a distribution deal with Idearc's SuperPages (the publisher of Verizon yellow pages) the company has scored a potentially major win that could mean a material difference in its revenues and ultimate fate. SuperPages has an estimated 800,000+ advertisers, not all of which will be funneled into Free411 of course. (According to SuperPages the program will immediately tap their Pay-for-Calls advertisers, which are about 5,000.)

However, the value of simple access to an established pool of advertisers of that size cannot be overstated. And it's probably far more valuable, as a practical matter, than Jingle's recently announced patent.

There are now four major national competitors in ad-supported DA:

  • 1-800-Free411 (Jingle)
  • Goog411 (not yet ad supported)
  • Tellme (Microsoft; also without ads in local)
  • 1-800-YellowPages (AT&T)

Although there other competitors, including the long-established 1-800-SanDiego, there are arguably none that can rival the resources and advantages of these major players. One exception is Verizon, which will join these ranks soon.