"YellowAPI.com and the Future of API Monetization"

Canada's Yellow Pages Group (YPG) launched a new developer ecosystem to support their local search and location based services (LBS) API, YellowAPI.com.

YPG sees their developer ecosystem much differently than many other companies, they view the YellowAPI as a direct extension of its core business model, and the API dramatically extends the reach of its business network.

Within many API communities, the API owners can often seem distant from developers, or even view the development community as a problem.

As a developer I've experienced the limitations imposed by Twitter and Facebook, and I often feel ignored by Google when using their APIs.

I see YellowAPI's strategy as the future of API ecosystem management.

Developers can apply to be part of the YellowAPI.com developer community, once approved they gain access to a wealth of resources, including consultation on application design, quality assurance, legal guidance, technical assistance and can receive funding assistance to take their applications live.

In addition to these resources, YellowAPI.com provides opportunities for developers to monetize applications in the following ways:

  • Paid Search - Paying for volumes of high quality traffic from applications
  • Wigets - Group buying solutions in Canada and "Deal of the Day" widgets
  • Advertising - Platform specific digital ad network provided by Mediative
  • Placement - Premium paid search using mobile placement products
These aren't side opportunities invented just for the API, they represent YPG's core business.

Since YPG sees the API and its ecosystem as an extension of their core business, they are opening up revenue sharing opportunities for approved developers within its community.

If the YellowAPI community is successful in building sustainable business applications, YPG benefits. And because of the forward thinking API ecosystem strategy, when YPG makes money, the API developer community shares in this revenue.

How do you monetize your API, and where do your developers fit in?