Internet Publishing & Web Search Portals

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 6,800 Internet publishing and web search firms in the US provide online media, broadcasting services, and search capabilities for the Internet. Internet publishing firms help clients develop and distribute online media including books, magazines, journals, newspapers, greeting cards, directories, coupon books, atlases and guides, dictionaries, yearbooks, and comic books. Internet broadcasters stream music, videos, video games, news, worship services and other live and recorded digital media. Web search portal firms primarily generate and maintain massive, searchable databases of Internet addresses and content, but may also offer services such as email, auctions, news, and exclusive content.

Rapid Technology Changes

The ways that people search for and consume information and entertainment are constantly evolving.

Cookies, Privacy & Regulation

The use of “cookies” by web portals, advertisers and content providers allows them to mine user data themselves, reducing internet publishers’ control over that data and their ability to sell it.

Industry size & Structure

The typical Internet publishing and web search portal firm operates out of a single location and generates about $32 million annually.

    • The Internet publishing and web search portal industry consists of about 6,800 companies which employ about 290,200 workers and generate about $217 billion annually.
    • Most companies are small - about 82% have a single location and 70% employ less than 5 workers.
    • The industry is concentrated with the 20 largest firms accounting for 74% of industry revenue.
    • Large publishing and broadcasting firms include Kindle Direct, Blurb, Lulu, Issuu, Evites, Wikipedia, Statista, Pandora, YouTube and Netflix.
    • The largest search portals are owned by technology and telecommunications firms: Alphabet (Google), Microsoft (Bing), Verizon (Yahoo) and Facebook Business. Large vertically-integrated portals include Kayak (travel), Amazon and eBay (e-commerce), LinkedIn (jobs) and WebMD (health).
    • The industry is geographically concentrated with 25% of establishments located in California, 9% in New York, 7% in Florida and 6% in Texas.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Internet Publishing & Web Search Portals Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Mar 10, 2023 - Biden Administration Announces Cybersecurity Strategy
                              • The Biden administration revealed a new National Cybersecurity Strategy that seeks to rebalance the responsibility to defend cyberspace by shifting the burden for cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses, and local governments, and onto the organizations that are most capable and best positioned to reduce risks, according to a White House statement. Internet publishing and web search portals may be among the entities facing greater cybersecurity burdens. The initiative is intended to expand the use of minimum security standards for critical infrastructure and establish a common set of regulations to make it easier to comply with that baseline. It would also shift some liability for software and services to developers that ignore recommended cybersecurity practices or ship products with known vulnerabilities. A safe harbor provision would protect companies that make a sincere effort to develop secure products.
                              • Technology firms that develop Internet search engines are bringing artificial intelligence (AI) to their products. Google CEO Sundar Pichai presented on February 8 his company's plans to bring its new AI technology, which includes its Language Model for Dialogue Applications, or LaMDA, to Google Search. A day later, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled the company's new AI-enhanced version of its Bing search engine, powered by OpenAI's AI chatbot ChatGPT and its GPT-3.5 technology. Both search engines will allow users to ask natural questions in their own words, and will return conversational answers to complex questions. "It's going to be much more like just asking a personal assistant to do something," said Michael Wooldridge, the director of foundation AI research at The Alan Turing Institute. The new search engines "should understand the nuances of what you are asking and the kind of context in which you're asking it," Wooldridge added.
                              • The vast majority of data centers survived “extreme temperatures without significant problems” during the summer of 2022, according to Daniel Bizo, research director at data center think tank Uptime Institute Intelligence. He attributes this to “appropriate power and cooling redundancy and good equipment maintenance hygiene. Additionally, most data centers typically run at only moderate utilization levels. Operators can take advantage of spare cooling capacity to combat extreme heat,” he says. “In contrast, cloud providers are more inclined to push their infrastructure closer to the limits and have less margin for error during extreme weather events.” Prominent tech companies like Google, Oracle, and Twitter saw significant disruption to their services due to intense heat in 2022.
                              • A federal judge dismissed two antitrust lawsuits accusing e-commerce giant Amazon and five large publishers of illegally conspiring to fix US prices of electronic and traditional books. Consumers accused the defendants of signing agreements that let the publishers inflate e-book prices by locking in a 30% "agency" fee for Amazon on each sale, and guaranteeing that Amazon's prices would not be undercut. Retail booksellers alleged in a separate lawsuit that Amazon had been awarded a "discriminatory discount" on hardbacks, paperbacks and mass-produced books, forcing them to pay higher wholesale prices to the publishers and depressing book sales. Judge Valerie Figueredo recommended that both lawsuits be dismissed, citing a lack of evidence of collusion.
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