YellowPages.com Originally Registered in 1996; Eventually Sold for $100 Million
NEW YORK, NY – Imagine if you had the foresight, in 1996, to register the Internet domain name YellowPages.com. That’s what a stock broker named Dane Madsen did when he found out that web addresses were able to registered by just about anyone with an idea and some cash on hand.
YellowPages.com was registered for roughly $130 and eventually sold for $100 million to the large telecom companies who run the old print phone books such as AT&T. The domain name was initially a website having nothing to do with the phone companies who had printed phone books, a process used for over 100 years before the Internet.
Today, according to our home page survey results, about 64 percent of Yellow Page users prefer online directories, over print books with about 35 percent saying they use the paper version. Over three hundred users have been surveyed in this poll, with each vote being cast by a unique IP address.
This number is also likely to grow with overall use of the Internet around the world. Other surveys have concluded that support for an “opt-in” method to receiving print books; verses being automatically subscribed are at 81% of respondents. But what would phone companies do if their circulation numbers plummeted?
These numbers suggest that online versions will continue to grow and be used more than conventional type Yellow Pages, and that Madsen’s purchase of the YellowPages.com web address just might have been one of the greatest investments of all time.
The Yellow Pages industry and business model has been around since 1883, and was ironically a complete fluke accident when the printer ran out of white paper and used yellow paper instead. However, despite the change in landscape and rise of the Internet, YellowPages.com remains a valuable asset with little chance of seeing a downturn anytime soon.