New Study Shows the Migration from Print Yellow Pages to Digital Local Search Slower than Predicted

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The move from print yellow pages to digital search by consumers looking for a local business was significantly slower than predicted in 2012, according to a new analysis by Market Authority, the world's leader in Print/Digital market research.

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Print is not dying on the schedule previously imagined by almost everyone.

“The migration away from printed yellow pages is turning out to be more of a glacial-like movement than a land slide,” said Steve Sitton, president and CEO of Market Authority. “It is even slower than we expected and I realize these results may come as something of an ‘inconvenient truth’ to many inside and outside the directional media industry”.

Market Authority analyzed 39 markets studied in 2011 and then studied again in 2012. About half of the markets were large and small metro areas and the other half was comprised of rural areas. Many of the markets in the study group had over 1000 live interviews in each of the two years, making a total of nearly 60,000 live consumer interviews in the overall migration study. The company surveyed consumers in all age demographics and weighted them according to current population percentages. Based upon the analysis, Market Authority found that reported digital exclusive usage grew only by 3.24% in 2012. (Digital exclusive usage is defined by consumers reporting having fully dropped print yellow pages in favor of digital search).

“The reason we believe the move away from print has slowed is that the consumer ‘early adopters’ have been exhausted” Sitton commented, on the 20%-30% of consumers who moved over in the last 7 years. “The majority of consumers use both print and digital search media. Small and medium-sized businesses need to understand this important distinction.”

“This analysis provides an arsenal of proof that print products will last a lot longer than anyone thought,” Sitton concluded. “Print is not dying on the schedule previously imagined by almost everyone. The current power of print combined with the slow rate of migration from print to digital indicate that large publishers will need to have a longer term plan to include print as a major Directional Media product.”

About Market Authority
Market Authority is the preeminent authority on consumer usage of directional media, having interviewed nearly 400,000 consumers over its five-year history. The company has built an approach (The Dual Imperative) that helps media companies demonstrate the value of printed as well as digital products in their local markets. To learn more about Market Authority, visit us at

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Kari L Simpson
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