Yellow Page publishers will continue to see a softening of business over the next three years.
BIA/Kelsey expects revenues from print and online directories to decline globally 1.5% to $22 billion by 2015, down from $23.4 billion in 2011.
The good news is that the shift to digital will continue at a high pace -- stemming some further revenue pullback. By 2015, 53% of global Yellow Pages revenues will be digital, compared with 29% in 2011.
BIA/Kelsey says some of the world's largest directory organizations, including Yell Group and Seat Pagine Gialle, are setting a quicker transition, anticipating a roughly 80% digital/20% print split of revenues by 2015. It says markets that are currently -- or will be -- majority digital by the end of 2011 include Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
"A noteworthy factor of this forecast is the moderating of print declines," stated Charles Laughlin, senior vice president and program director, BIA/Kelsey.
"As print declines flatten out, a shift to digital will be a key to any return to growth," he notes. "Recent stock market gains by publishers may indicate increasing confidence in publishers' ability to turn the corner with new digital products."