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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Independents Cautious Today, Hopeful Tomorrow
Charles Laughlin , 2/13/2001

Issue: Flash Survey at ADP Workshop Reveals Ambitious Plans

News:  At the recent Association of Directory Publishers Winter Workshop, The Kelsey Group (TKG) conducted an informal spot survey of the publishers in attendance to gain a sense of how they would describe their online strategies.

Publishers were asked to choose from among five strategic categories to describe their current and future approaches. They were also asked to provide percentage ranges for current and anticipated future revenue from the online component of their businesses.

The conference brought together executives from many leading independent publishers, including Yellow Book USA, United Publishers, Associated Publishing, Smart Pages, Phone Directories, White Directory Publishers and others.

What we learned from the 25 participants is that many U.S. independent Yellow Pages publishers (at least among those at the conference) continue to take a wait-and-see approach to online development. Yet most have a fairly aggressive belief in the anticipated future impact of online media on their revenues.

For example, more than 30 percent of publishers - the highest single response - indicated their current approach is "watch and wait." But five years out, those "watching and waiting" drops to 20 percent. On the revenue side, while 40 percent said their current share of revenues from online sales is "zero," in five years, none of them expect zero revenue.

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