Today, Yellowbook is rolling out a partnership with European mobile app developer Adaffix similar to deals Adaffix has been launching in recent months across Europe. The app presents a clear monetization opportunity by suggesting three alternative businesses when the caller’s first choice merchant doesn’t answer the phone.
Under the partnership, Yellowbook will be the data provider for the Adaffix app in the United States. The app is available on all smartphone platforms except for Apple because the iPhone currently doesn’t enable multitasking. The Adaffix app runs in the background, and provides three basic services: the auto suggest feature noted above; caller lookup, in which it accesses its partners’ data to match phone numbers from outside the user’s address book; and Facebook ID, basically displaying the Facebook photo of callers whose app is linked to their Facebook profile.
While the parties are reluctant to call the deal exclusive, Adaffix CEO Claudia Poepperl says the company generally works with one publisher partner in each of the countries it operates in. Right now, it has deals with European Directories across Europe and in Germany with Das Telefonbuch.
Clearly from a monetization standpoint, the auto suggest feature is the key to the Adaffix app. Now, the suggestions are based on relevancy, essentially category and location. Eventually, Yellowbook hopes to monetize auto suggest with some flavor of performance-based advertising or premium placement.
Yellowbook has been an aggressive innovator in mobile, coming out early with iPhone and iPad apps, and pushing hard into other systems, notably Android, which Wilson says is currently a much bigger source of mobile lookups for Yellowbook than the iPhone. That’s a good thing since the iPhone is not an option for the Adaffix app.
Today, Yellowbook describes itself as being more in the user aggregation stage than the discreet monetization stage, but Yellowbook’s Mike Wilson says that longer term, mobile advertisers will be “part of the same conversation” as online as a source of revenues, and he wouldn’t rule out mobile eventually being at equal footing with online as a revenue source.
“We see it as similar to print in the sense that there is a strict association between lookups and calls in both,” he says.