Dex Media: Print Down 21%, Digital Up 6% YTD; Digital 24% of Revs

Dex Media logoDexMedia, the combination of Dex One and Supermedia, announced third quarter earnings today. The company reported $397 in quarterly revenue and a loss of $132 million. The company also said that it made $1.03 billion in the first nine months.

Print continued to see declines of just over 20% YoY. These print revenue losses are generally “par for the course” for print publishers on an almost global basis. I was struck at the ALSMA conference in Shanghai last week by the similarity of the circumstances faced by directory publishers in Asia.

Below is a snapshot of Dex Q3 and year to date results:

Dex Q3 earnings

Here are some of the additional details and data that came out of the earnings call this morning:

  • Dex Media has 2,000 sales reps and 600,000 advertisers in 43 states
  • 24% of revenues come from digital
  • 200,000 advertisers buying digital; the company didn’t specify how many customers were “digital only” (most are going to be print + digital bundles)
  • Average annual digital spend is $2,400 to $2,500 (this isn’t average spend overall just the digital component)
  • Overall advertiser renewal rates are about 80%

In the earnings slides Dex cites Thrive Analytics survey data indicating the hierarchy of marketing needs and desires among SMBs:

SMBs need help

The top five on the list above are:

  1. SEO (paid search is much lower on the list)
  2. Websites
  3. Social media
  4. Mobile
  5. Listings syndication

Much of the earnings call was pre-occupied with debt repayment questions. On the positive site Dex has only penetrated one-third of its advertiser base with digital, indicating a much larger growth opportunity. However digital growth was flat YoY. That’s partly about national advertiser defections.

If every one of Dex’s 600,000 advertisers were buying a bundle that included digital and were spending $2,400 the company would have just over $1 billion in digital revenue annually (factoring in the 80% retention rate).

You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed.

2 Responses to “Dex Media: Print Down 21%, Digital Up 6% YTD; Digital 24% of Revs”

  1. jesus says at

    I know 85% of hibu sales in US are a budle including print & digital products.

    It represents a problem for hibu because have differents product teams for print and digital and digital doesn’t want to be part of print team.

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    Companies should simplifY selling with bundles but not sell bundles simply to boost revenue. Publishers need to sell the right product mix, which might mean ditching print in some cases. But many companies are still unprepared to accept this.

    Organizational issues such as you describe are often hidden factors in success or failure. 

Leave a Reply