Print yellow page directories face the most uncertain future of all media. We’re estimating that the yellow pages industry will lose $39% of its in annual revenue over the next five years, amounting to a loss of $5 billion in annual revenue by 2013. Meanwhile, there is a simultaneous increase in the industry’s “addressable market” of search engine advertising and local online video, giving publishers a larger cache of advertising products to sell. Video shows the most promise, growing from a $1.4 billion category this year to $7.6 billion in 2013.
The directory industry has been the most aggressive of all local media, garnering an estimated 15% share of its total revenues from digital advertising this year. It has also trained approximately 80% of its on-the-ground sales force – totaling more than 13,000 salespeople – to sell interactive products, going head-to-head with trained newspaper reps also selling online advertising. Combined with other retrained local sales staffs, online products are now being sold by 34,100 local sales reps – the largest sales force for any local media product.