The last couple of years have demonstrated that having an API is the gateway towards building an entire ecosystem of applications and developers around your product. Traditional businesses like directory publishers have been slower off the blocks to provide access to their content via an API. But the early movers who understood the importance of an API are beginning to see the payoff, such as YellowPages.ca and its Yellow API.
The API offers one of the largest business and people databases in Canada. It must have been testing times for them since they had to move a traditional paper directory into an online API offering, with open questions around adoption of its API. A report titled “YPG Making Good on API Strategy” by Greg Sterling, confirms that there is positive news.
There are three marquee customers of the Yellow API: Twitter, local mobile apps WHERE and Poynt. The report makes a key point that unlike the US, the Yellow Group is in a unique position due to the large amount of data that it has access to. It has begun on the path to becoming the source of information for data related to Canada and the early mover advantage might result in a huge adoption of its data via its API.
Now that its API has seen initial adoption, YellowPages.ca can definitely move forward with exposing more interesting content like person search, coupons, ratings and reviews and classifieds. This could definitely lead to them discovering a monetization model that works out well for them. Will other directory publishers follow suit?