Diller: Directories "still make nothing but money"

Posted on 11. Jun, 2009 by in Revenue

Barry Diller spoke to PaidContent earlier this week and in talking up one of his babies, citysearch.com, he makes the case for local online directories. Of course, Diller also says the work of building those directories is “impossible.” Here’s the exchange with Staci Kramer:

Kramer: The directory businesses are in huge trouble.

Diller: The directories businesses still make nothing but money. They’re overleveraged, they’re bankrupt entities, but they still are the largest. This is all going to move online over time. Why Citysearch and ServiceMagic are so important to us, is because nobody has really colonized it yet completely. There’s no question that local activity is going to continue forever. Organizing it online is probably the most difficult area (thumping desk for punctuation) because it is so local. There are so many merchants, so connecting it into a service that both gets you the things you want to know about all of those services in one place and then has the commerce relationships, the merchant relationships—talk about impossible tasks. Citysearch has been working on it for 10 years and it’s a third of the way there, 20 percent of the way there. It’s way ahead of everybody else.

Later in the interview he says that the Daily Beast isn’t so much in search of a new business model as an attempt to take “a magazine approach to advertising, an art approach to advertising rather than an internet approach to advertising.”

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