Periodically, The Kelsey Group (TKG) sets out to develop long-range forecasts for the global Yellow Pages industry. For this year's forecast, TKG has adopted a "bottoms-up" approach, which estimates revenues on a company-by-company basis. That said, our purpose is not to provide a company-by-company, line-by-line forecast. Rather, our objective in building the forecast from the ground up is to ensure that our industry level forecast is as precise as it can be. We will explore many of the elements of the overall forecast in this White Paper, but at no place in this document will you see company-specific forecasts.
The Yellow Pages and directory industry is in a very challenging period. Ten years ago, anyone building forecasts for this industry could simply apply an average "rate-up" to the previous year's results, project that out a few years and come up with a fairly accurate forecast. The changing industry structure and emergence of new distribution platforms makes the process of forecasting for the industry far more challenging and complex.
Adding to the complexity of this forecast is the growing diversification of the digital directional media space (we don't think the term Internet Yellow Pages, or IYP, is sufficiently inclusive). More and more search engines are targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with products that emulate Yellow Pages. We have included these local commercial search revenues in our forecast.
As you review the following narrative and the accompanying tables and charts, we would encourage you to keep a list of your questions and comments and communicate them to the TKG analyst team. Only through direct feedback from our clients can we continue to improve and enhance our forecasting process to the benefit of the entire industry. We thank you in advance for your involvement.
We have divided the 2002-2008 Kelsey Group forecast into regional components. We divide the global Yellow Pages industry into four global markets North America, Europe, South America and Asia/Pacific and ROW (Rest of World).
We have used 2002 data as the starting point of our forecast. We compiled 2002 revenue data from multiple sources, including annual and quarterly reports and our Global Yellow PagesTM 2002 questionnaire process. In addition, our data comes to us in the course of our ongoing discussions with key executives at print and digital publishing concerns, and from estimates that we have developed based on market and industry statistics.
The bottom line is that the US$26.2 billion (2003) global Yellow Pages industry remains vibrant and growing, due to growing competition, product innovation and growth in digital. By 2008, TKG believes almost 23 percent of global Yellow Pages revenues will come from digital products. The directory industry will be strong and vibrant in 2008, but it will bear only a faint resemblance to the industry we know today.