The Internet yellow pages market generated an estimated $21.8 million in revenues in 1997, up from $3.9 million in 1996, according to an annual research report published by Simba Information Inc.
The 459% growth rate in 1997 is due to several factors, including new entrants into the competitive arena and revenue gains from existing services. The Internet yellow pages market includes print yellow pages publishers, start-up online directories, and niche services. Simba projects the industry will reach $164.9 million in 2000.
“Internet yellow pages services from print publishers and start-up companies face tremendous competition from niche services, which have already begun siphoning away advertisers in key yellow pages headings, such as autos, restaurants and attorneys,” Tom Maguire, managing editor of the yellow pages group at Simba, was quoted as saying.
Search engines, which command significant usage and advertising dollars, act as yellow pages directories by referring consumers to business Web sites, allowing them to bypass Internet yellow pages, he added.