Database & Directory Publishing in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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The internet has created new channels for directory companies to distribute business information to the market, however, consumers are increasingly turning to the services of online-only companies like search engines and digital versions over print, negatively affecting revenue and profit for the Database and Directory Publishing industry. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Database and Directory Publishing industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Online competition will rise, but improved advertising demand will slow the industry's decline

The Database and Directory Publishing industry has faced intense competition from online substitutes over the past five years, sending it into decline. Directory companies are facing growing external competition from online search engines and portals such as Google. At the same time, however, cooperation between directory companies and search engines allows directory companies to enhance their distribution networks on behalf of advertisers, partly offsetting the negative effects of online competition.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Jesse Chiang, “Total advertising expenditure, which fluctuates alongside consumer sentiment and per capita disposable income, drives demand for advertising space in directories and databases.” Therefore, as advertising expenditure dropped in 2008 and 2009, it severely damaged the Database and Directory Publishing industry’s revenue, contributing to an average annual decline of 8.1% over the five years to 2013. In 2013 alone, revenue is expected to fall 3.4% to $13.0 billion.

“Demand for printed telephone directories is expected to fall steadily over the five years to 2013, due to the continued migration of customers to online sources,” says Chiang. The long-term decline in demand for print advertising has also hurt telephone directory companies' revenue, though growth in online revenue mitigated this trend. Nevertheless, this transition has dragged down profit margins because printed products are typically more profitable than their online counterparts. Industry operators have responded to these declines by consolidating and reducing employee numbers.

This trend is evident in the recently completed merger of major players Dex One Corp and SuperMedia, which formed Dex Media in mid-2013. The number of industry enterprises is expected to decline at an average annual rate of 3.5% over the five years to 2013, with employment declining at an annualized rate of 6.0% over the same period.

While conditions will not likely remain as stifling as they were during the recession, the five-year forecast is bleak for the industry. The trend from print to online searches is projected to continue, placing downward pressure on revenue and profit because companies are no longer included in the industry when they become online-only operators. However, this pressure is forecast to let up slightly as the economy continues its slow recovery, which will drive consumer spending and advertising demand. As a result, industry revenue is forecast to decline.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Database and Directory Publishing industry
in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

The Database and Directory Publishing industry includes companies that publish organized compilations of information or facts. These collections may be published in print or electronic form. Electronic versions can be provided directly to customers by the publisher or offered through online services or third-party vendors. However, businesses that publish solely on the internet are excluded from this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
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About IBISWorld Inc.

Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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