Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2009 (Revised September 2013)

Yelp

by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, David Chen and Aaron Smith

Abstract

Yelp was a popular online destination for reviews of local establishments, written by volunteer Internet users and read by 60 million people per month. However, the company was far from profitable. The CEO needs to decide between two options to increase the revenue. First, the company can maintain its existing monetization model and quickly build a massive sales force to enroll many local business owners as advertisers and sponsors. The second option was to change the monetization model completely and charge readers for access to Yelp reviews.

Keywords: Online Advertising; Business Model; Profit; Revenue; Marketing Strategy; Sales; Internet; Advertising Industry;

Citation:

Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, David Chen, and Aaron Smith. "Yelp." Harvard Business School Case 709-412, March 2009. (Revised September 2013.)