Tag Archives: David Goddard

New Yellow Pages Market Forecast 2013 Available

It’s back and all new!  Local Search Authority (aka David Goddard) has just released its latest edition of the industry’s premier market analysis and forecast report, Yellow Pages Market Forecast 2013.This annual report is always packed with all of the most current statistics and detail you need to build a successful plan for growth this year and beyond. It offers an in-depth, authoritative analysis of the entire U.S. yellow pages market, from utility publishers to independents.   This study is the source for informed perspective on significant market developments and objective, accurate forecasts for industry growth.  At YP Talk we frequently use the Forecast in our research to uncover the driving forces shaping the strength and direction of the overall industry and specific markets. This annual report has been published continuously since 1986.

yellow page market forecast

This forecast comes from the desk of David Goddard who has been tracking the industry since it first started in the late 1800’s (ok, well, not that long, but at least for the last 20 years I have known him).  He is also the author of The Goddard Report, a leading publication that concentrates on the unique interests and needs of companies involved in print and online directory operations.  The Goddard Report is published continuously online, and 12 times per year (monthly) it is issued digitally as a PDF for download.

Who Needs the Yellow Pages Market Forecast?

YP Talk readers know that I don’t endorse just anyone.  But the simple answer to the question of who needs this forecast is that the players in the industry are changing constantly.  If you are a stakeholder of any type in the Yellow Pages/Local Search industry – publisher, CMR, investor, consultant, or even an industry supplier, you cannot afford to NOT own the Yellow Pages Market Forecast 2013. If you are serious about participating in the market this is the go-to source you need on your desktop.

Click here to find out more, to get your discount, and purchase the report:  http://www.imslocalsearchauthority.com/2013marketforecast.php

ADP Launches “Power of Yellow” Campaign to Fight A “Virus of Misperception”

In a packed meeting room on Friday in Chicago, the Association of Publishers rolled out a new multi-phase effort entitled the Power of Yellow™ , to increase the factual understanding of advertisers, consumers, and the press about the continuing value of print Yellow Pages, and to immunize the industry against the “virus of misperception” that it believes it threatening the industry today.

The genesis of the campaign comes from a desire on the part by independent publishers to initiate a “Got Milk”-grass roots style of campaign for the Yellow Pages industry.  Larry Angove, President of ADP, indicated that earlier efforts to work with the former Yellow Pages Publishers Association (YPPA) on a campaign were rebuffed.

This is the first coordinated industry marketing effort since the mid-90’s when the then named Yellow Pages Publishers Association (YPPA), tried a light bulb and the tagline in the “Get an idea”

Unable to achieve any significant traction with the new branding (traction that could be verified through higher sales) the “Get an Idea” campaign was abandoned two years later.

This new, multi-faceted program general first-phase components are being provided to all ADP members at no cost, and include templated adds that can used in a range of media

  • Phased Media Releases
  • Television Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Print Media Ads
  • Newspaper Op-Ed Articles
  • Magazine Feature Articles
  • Directory Filler Ads
  • Sales Presentation Video
  • Coordinated Sales Collateral

Support for the effort also includes:

  • Placement Guidelines and Schedules
  • Offensive Talking Points
  • Defensive talking Points
  • Advertiser Testimonials
  • Data Source Documentation

A unique feature of this new program is the inclusion of four of the industry’s leading research experts to “star” in a series of 30-second television and 30-second radio spots proclaiming the Power of Yellow™ which publishers can then add their own product information to for local release.  Featured in the spots are:

  1. Dr. Dennis Fromholzer, President, CRM Associates
  2. David Goddard, EVP, IMS Local Search Authority
  3. Paul Gordon, Vice President & General Manager, Catalyst Paper USA
  4. Steve Sitton, President & CEO, Market Authority, Inc.

In presentations at the kickoff event, each of these industry experts noted key aspects of the factual arguments this effort will present:

Dr. Dennis Fromholzer:  “….the value of a lead from print yellow pages is 25X more valuable than a click to an online ad”

David Goddard:  “….people where saying print was dead 10 years ago.  We project the print/digital revenue mix will not reach 50/50 until 2018 at the earliest…”

Paul Gordon:  “…the reality is the industry isn’t knocking down trees solely to make paper for its products”

Steve Sitton:  “…print is not dying on schedule as many said it would.  Our research has found that the migration to digital is slowing.  That’s a very inconvenient truth”

At YP Talk, we have long advocated that the industry needs to begin to confront its many critics about print.  As far back as 2005, we made several calls to action (here, and here are just two examples).  As Goddard noted at the kickoff, if the Seattle and San Francisco opt-out ordinances had held up, they could have resulted in a $500+ million hit to the industry.   In June, we advocated that the industry reconsider the use of the iconic walking fingers in its local marketing efforts (June article here).  As a result, we are ecstatic to see this new initiative from ADP and will be supporting it fully as it rolls out.

As Sitton noted at the kickoff, it’s time to stop this “virus of misinformation”.  Amen.  But the industry needs your support.  Do we have it??

Simba Yellow Pages Acquired by IMS

Breaking news today is the announcement that Integrity Marketing Solutions of Kansas City have acquired Simba Yellow Pages from Marketresearch.com.  IMS specializes in marketing services for estate planning and elder law.  Specific terms were not disclosed.

Simba Yellow Pages has covered the yellow pages industry for more than two decades publishing research books and compiling custom research projects for publishers, suppliers and financial investors to the industry.   It’s most important asset, David Goddard, has been the editor and senior analyst for more than a decade.  Goddard will now continue with the efforts as the executive vice president for IMS Local Search Authority (Simba Yellow Pages). Prior to joining Simba, Goddard was an editor and publisher for Eagle Publishing Group.

In the company’s press release, Kyle Krull, president of Integrity Marketing Solutions commented: “We believe we have a winning combination.  Bringing Dave Goddard’s industry insight and leadership together with Integrity Marketing’s powerhouse media and marketing team gives the yellow pages industry an unparalleled ally in today’s challenging market environment.”

“Over the coming weeks and months Simba Yellow Pages will transform to become your go-to resource for breaking news, insight and analysis for the evolution of the yellow pages and local search markets,” IMS CEO Jennifer Goddard (yes, that’s David’s wife) told YP Talk. “We will continue to provide the Yellow Pages & Directory Report with continuous online coverage of the industry, including metrics, analysis and short/long-term perspective. YP&DR subscribers will continue to have access to the exclusive YP&DR Directory Databank, the monthly scorecard offering the most comprehensive look available anywhere at the RBOC’s largest releases.”

A temporary website to field questions about the acquisition is available here.

Simba Information Industry Forecast – 2011

Simba information, led by Senior Analyst David Goddard, has just completed this year’s version of their annual Industry Forecast.  The study provides an in-depth, detailed view of the current state of the industry, a summary of the key findings, and projections on where the industry is headed in the new future.

When we talked with Goddard about the forecast, he noted some of the key findings:

Overall U.S. yellow pages revenue declined 11.8% in 2010.  The industry’s revenue slide continued in 2010 as a recessionary economy endured and the transition from print to digital products continued. This marks another year of continuous; multiyear double digit loses in revenue from the major publishers. The industry growth rate has been declining steadily since 2004 and finished 2010 at $13.57 billion, or an 11.8% decline over that period.  The outlook for 2011 is similarly negative, but at a slower rate.

Environmental Ticking Time Bomb Goes Off.  Simba believes that the current environmental challenges are a “ticking time bomb” threatening the industry with increased government-imposed controls and “do not deliver” lists scattered around the 50 states. While Simba notes that the associations are hard at work addressing and even partially defused efforts over the  last year, by late 2010/early 2011 the industry faced major legislation challenges in two large metro communities—San Francisco and Seattle, and has not won recent efforts to blunt the trend.

National yellow page advertising is in a sharp decline.  Spending in the yellow pages national channel took a sharp decline of 16.2% in 2010, its third consecutive decline in double digits. National yellow pages spending is projected to decline an additional 12% to $1.47 billion in 2011. Contrast that with the overall yellow pages industry projected decline of 5.5% to $12.82 billion in 2011.

RBOC publishers are the major drag on total industry results.  Aggregate yellow pages revenue for the regional Bell related companies declined 18.2% to $7.72 billion in 2010. Meanwhile, revenue at six leading non-telco independent publishers—Yellowbook, LocalEdge (formerly White Directory Publishers), Valley Yellow Pages, Ziplocal (formerly PDC and Your Community PhoneBook), User-Friendly Media and Names & Numbers—declined only 4.6% to $2.38 billion. 

Online Now Accounts for a 17.2% Share of Total Revenue in 2010.  Yellow pages publishers have been aggressively trying to position themselves as the source for advice and support of new digital media products.  As a result they have seen online revenue continue a double digit increase to reach $2.33 billion in 2010, while the print revenue declined to $11.24 billion, all in the face of a tough economy and an ever-strengthening search engine world led by Google. In the study, Simba will tell you how they project online will continue its double-digit growth rate through 2013 when it will top $4.24 billion, or 33.4% of total revenue of $12.71 billion. 

The study also provides much more detailed analysis in these and other areas.  For example, Goddard commented that in analyzing publisher results, he estimates the RBOCs are discounting prices approximately 20% which would result in actual revenue from the over 50,000 circulation books of $7.3 billion.  Billings for RBOC publishers declined 13.8% to an estimated $9.1 billion in 2010 in books with more than 50,000 circulation. Volume was down 17.3% to 518,085 yellow pages. The estimated $9.1 billion in 2010 billings is based upon full DHC pricing.

The outlook for 2011?  Goddard believes that it doesn’t look as if 2011 is going to be much better for the industry.  He is projecting a 5.5% decline to $12.82 billion. Going forward the rate of decline is expected to slow and by 2013 he expects we will see a slight increase of 2.5%.  Major metro markets are the largest source of local advertising drops.  Yellow pages revenue in the top 20 metro markets declined to $1.65 billion in 2010, a 12.2% share of total industry revenues of $13.57 billion, according to Simba estimates.  Revenue for the top 20 markets was $1.86 billion in 2009, a 12.1% share of total yellow pages revenue of $15.38 billion.

View From The Corner Office: An interview with Dave Goddard, Simba Information

Perhaps no one issue is more relevant, current, or strategically important for the Yellow Pages industry right now than  some of the recent environmental challenges it has faced.  Up until recently the industry had managed to fight back most efforts. But a new ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council which would levee new registration fees for publishers, require mandatory opt-out compliance, and impose significant new waster recovery fees per book distributed has now brought the issue to the fore front.

Simba Information, led by Senior Analyst of the Yellow Pages Group, David Goddard, has released a comprehensive new report covering the full spectrum of the topic entitled Going Green:  Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages industry 2010. Goddard is a recognized authority on the industry having covered it since 1997.  He oversees the content gathering and presentation of Simba’s Yellow Pages & Directory Report and numerous related research reports. This work is an exceptional piece covering not only the general industry issues, but also provides readers with more detailed views inside most of the major publisher efforts.

We recently sat down with Goddard to further discuss his views on this hot topic. Enjoy.

YPT: How was this study assembled??

GODDARD:   Generally, Simba gathers the information for a report for about a year, which gives some solid trend lines. We then analyze the information and publish it. We have tracked the environmental impact on the industry for the past few years but this year Seattle brought the impact on the industry right to the forefront. While we discovered the industry has become more green over the past few years—primarily since the beginning of the PSI hearings in 2007 — it may be too little and too late. A number of states  and municipalities are already looking closely at the cost of yellow pages recycling just as Seattle did and may decide to recoup the money.   Seattle is going to charge the publishers as much as $600,000 at year to do business in their community. That will probably look very inviting to legislators.

YPT:  Is your overall sense that the industry understands how serious an issue this really is?

GODDARD:   Absolutely, I remember the first few environmental meetings that came up in 2007 & 2008. The publishers were surprised by the environmental issue as it pertained to their industry.  But, now they have educated themselves and a great deal of the credit goes to the YPA and ADP associations.  The publishers now work hard to making recycling of yellow pages directories more convenient and have gotten behind the green movement. However, the challenge is quite large because publishers are dealing with individual states and municipalities.

YPT:  In YP Talk articles we recently suggested that this lawsuit may not be a totally bad thing for this industry.  It could almost be viewed as an inexpensive public relations effort from the industry.  Do you agree??

GODDARD:   It is likely there will be a more united industry. Seattle is already proving itself to be a good example: two of the RBOCs and the YPA have filed the suit against the city ordinance and Yellowbook, which also distributed in the city, has thrown support behind them.   The money that will be owed to Seattle if this ordinance is upheld is really going to pinch. And, it won’t take long for environmental groups in cities like Chicago, which are already in contact with Seattle, to look to do the same.   Publishers may well have to pay to distribute in some of the cities and communities. Hopefully, both sides in Seattle will come up with a compromise that will work for publishers and the city. What that compromise would be, I’m not sure but I suspect they will be looking for one.

YPT:  Publishers have suggested that opt-out rates are only about 1% of the total delivery , and that it is a small fragment doing all the complaining/blogging about the issue while rest of the community isn’t really engaged in the discussion.

GODDARD:   Those statistics sound about right from what I’m hearing but the issue has now moved into the political arena.  If the Seattle model expands, communities across the U.S. are going to ask taxpayers if they want to continue to pay for recycling phone books or send a bill to yellow pages publishers.  I think the taxpayers’ answer is pretty obvious. Communities are going to go for the money. So, even if it’s only 1% of the households that don’t want the book delivered, the political arena is likely to give communities the legal right to send Joe Walsh a bill.  The publishers have to pay the bill, go to court in an attempt to have the ordinance overturned or come up with a compromise.

YPT:  Wouldn’t the process agreed to in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area be the better route for all parties (agreement to set up a single source opt-out program with fees involved.   So, I think me the issues is that if there were no fees involved then say you have to offer the opt-out I don’t think that would bother anyone.

GODDARD:  Minneapolis/St. Paul was a good compromise but communities are always looking for additional revenue.  While cooperation with business is a goal, the Seattle model is an opportunity to offset some expenses. It would be nice for the industry if the Seattle model doesn’t spread but it’s pretty likely that it will.

YPT:  Specific to the Seattle ordinance, it seems that the ordinance champion, Councilman O’Brien, really has his eyes on a bigger loft (State House).

GODDARD:  Yes, you’re right.  Who’s going to be against cleaning up a community?  O’Brien told Simba in a recent interview: “If you produce it, you should pay to get rid of it.”  And, who can successfully argue with that?

YPT:  In which key areas do you think we’re going to similar legislation come up with next?

GODDARD: My understanding is that environmental groups in Chicago are looking to Seattle but don’t want the legal bill, so they are waiting to see what happens.  How long will a court case like this last – 18 months to 3 years?  It’s certainly going to take a while, so I expect we’ll see a lot of communities watching and waiting. If the Seattle ordinance is upheld, communities are likely to follow the model. Two RBOCs and the YPA, which represents a major portion of the business, have recognized the danger of a strong fee-based environmental model and drawn the line in Seattle.

YPT:  But if they lose?

GODDARD:  Those flood gates are going to open if they lose.  It will be costly to the publishers in Seattle and most likely will become expensive in other communities as well. Since the stakes are so large, a settlement really seems likely.

YPT:  You indicated that one of the things that surprised you in your work on this publication was how green the publishers have become.  Tell us more about that.

GODDARD:   Basically, unlike previous years, we’re seeing a lot of progress. In past years we would search the publishers’ web sites and find that opt-out was available but the procedure was difficult. A person who wanted to opt out often had to hunt through the site, follow many steps and sometimes end up placing a phone call to the publisher rather than an online procedure.   But this year it has gotten pretty easy.  And, the YPA and the ADP, which has their own opt-out site, are about to take it national.  So the industry really is going ‘green’ and working toward recycling—that is the big difference from past years.  Back in 2006 before the PSI (Product Stewardship Institute, an environmental advocacy group) meetings, you often couldn’t find yellow pages recycling information anywhere on a publisher’s site. By 2010 a resident can opt out of a book or find the closest recycling center without much difficulty all across the country.

YPT:  Publishers have indicated that the actual opt-out rates are running under 1%, and have slowed to a trickle.  How do you view this result??

GODDARD:   What opt-out does is create a choice and Seattle is a good example because three of the largest yellow pages publishers—Dex, Super Media and Yellow Book—distribute directories in the market. What is likely to happen is two of those publishers will be “opted-out” and a household will receive one book. Environmentalist groups seem to really get fired up when multiple publishers deliver multiple books multiple times a year. Many, many books then arrive at the landfill or recycling center, which is a great photo opportunity. That’s what draws attention and that’s where they see unnecessary costs to the taxpayer.  An average yellow pages user may not even recognize the differences between books delivered to their home, never mind the difference between incumbent and independent.   Given an opt-out choice, I doubt there will be many residents that love the yellow pages so much that they want to receive all three. I just don’t see that happening and with a door-to-door campaign like the one planned by Seattle environmentalists, the opt-out option will definitely come to the surface.

YPT:  If you were leading a print Yellow Pages publishing operation, what steps would you be taking now?

GODDARD:   Basically they have to get into Seattle and file a suit that points out the defects in the ordinance, including the question of why yellow pages publishers need a permit to operate in the city but newspaper publishers don’t.  There are a number of questions raised by the Seattle ordinance that appear to fly in the face of the First Amendment.  While the publishers have to make an expensive stand in Seattle, it can also be an opportunity.  It may well be in the best interest of the industry to find a compromise that becomes a model across the country rather than kill the Seattle ordinance in court and face continuous battles in other communities.

The yellow industry is going greener while the environmental groups are getting stronger, more united and savvy with working with politicians. This entire issue really came to the forefront on the East Coast when Verizon Information Services [now SuperMedia] split its big book in Boston into three regional editions. The issue has now spread across the country to the West Coast and the environmentalists and publishers are in this together. As Sieg Fischer, president of Valley Yellow Pages, said at the PSI dialogue at the Seattle EPA office a couple of years ago, “We all live on this planet; maybe we can work this out together.”  The Seattle ordinance and lawsuit could supply that cooperation.

And lastly, the PSI group has some real credibility and they have influence all over the country.  The institute, which has been involved with multiple industries ranging from batteries to pesticides, seems to know how to work with environmentalists and businesses.  The wisest course of action may be to work more closely with PSI to find a compromise. They may wear green shoes, but the truth of the matter is that they are pretty savvy.

YPT:  How much is the report and how can someone order a copy?

GODDARD:   The report costs $2,995 for an online download and this is the link: http://www.simbainformation.com/pub/2648050.html