Directory & Mailing List Publishers
Companies in this industry publish business or telephone directories and mailing lists in print or electronic formats. Major companies include Thryv, and Thomas Publishing (both based in the US), Hibu (UK), Solocal (France), and Yellow Pages (Canada).
Directory and mailing list publishers primarily conduct business at a local level, though some mailing list companies provide international information and have operations overseas. Demand is lessening, particularly in developed markets in North America and Europe, as more people go online for directory information and more businesses use digital rather than print media for marketing. Use of the internet continues to expand in developing nations.
The US directory and mailing list publishing industry includes about 760 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $5 billion.
Demand for directories is driven by local population growth and local ad spending; demand for mailing lists is driven by corporate profits and spending on marketing. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and new customers. Large companies have advantages in supplier negotiations and in serving multiple markets; small companies compete by targeting niche or specialized markets. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 90% of industry revenue.
The directory and mailing list publishing industry competes for audience attention and advertising spending with various media, including newspapers, radio, television, the internet, billboards, direct mail, and telemarketing sources. Online competition comes from search engines such as Google, social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and providers of business listings such as Yelp and craigslist.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products of directory and mailing list publishers include advertising space in printed publications (about 30%) and in telephone directories (about
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