AT&T is transforming the Yellow Pages into a daily deals portal similar to Groupon and the slew of other deep discount coupon sites and apps available. The updated Yellow Pages is available only in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Los Angeles but it will be rolled out to more cities in the future.
Yellow Pages Deals will operate the same way Groupon does: a deal needs to be validated by a certain number of user sign-ups before going live. According to the Yellow Pages FAQ section, the deals will be delivered via e-mail, and people who sign up before May 22 will receive a $10 coupon toward their first deal.
There’s a lot of money in offering deep discounts via social media sites and apps. Bloomberg reports that the U.S. daily deals market is projected to grow from $1.25 billion this year to $3.93 billion in 2015. But the competition is fierce, with more online coupon sites opening every day. Besides Groupon, Yellow Pages Deals will have to fight it out with the other two big dogs: Google Offers and Facebook Deals, as well as smaller but no less powerful sites like Living Social, Gilt Groupe, HauteLook, and Rue La La.
AT&T’s hipster-tongued FAQ section boasts that the new Yellow Pages will help its users “live smarter, better, happier,” but there’s one small hitch I can see that may hold back the program’s success: do wide audiences even use the Yellow Pages? When I think of the Yellow Pages –which occurs on an incredibly rare basis — I think wasted trees dangling from dead payphones, not instant accessibility via 21st-century apps over 4G networks.
So is the Groupon-esque business model sustainable enough for yet another clone, or will AT&T’s latest venture see the same quiet death as its Buzz.com? Sound off in the comments below.