Online Search To Hit $59.6 Billion in 2008

    October 26, 2005

Research firm Outsell Inc forecasted an impressive $59.6 billion in revenue by 2008 for online search, aggregation and distribution. The report covers major search players including AOL, MSN, Yahoo and Google.

The segment they identified as the Search, Aggregation & Distribution Services (SADS) segment includes search engines, general aggregators, subscriptions service providers and book distributors. They mention companies like Chinese search engine Sina as well as companies like LexisNexis, Dialog and Microsoft.

The report stated companies like Google and Yahoo took the segment up to a 20.5% growth rate by making previously inaccessible content accessible. Outsell forcasts the segment to continue to outperform the general information industry’s growth rate of 9.8% by growing 18% this year. They revenue projections are $37.6 billion in 2005 to 59.6 billion in 2008.

Key points from their Marketview:

Top players. SADS revenue leaders in the search and portal space include AOL, Yahoo!, Google and MSN, followed by Ask Jeeves (now part of IAC), InfoSpace, and SINA. The leaders in licensed content aggregation are Thomson with both Gale and Dialog; Reed Elsevier with LexisNexis; ProQuest; and the Reuters-Dow Jones joint venture, Factiva. In distribution and subscription services, Royal Swets & Zeitlinger, Follett Educational Services, Ingram Book Group, and Baker & Taylor, Inc.-Institution Division take top spots.

Changing attitudes toward search. Beyond 2005, the core model of general open search will peak and then decline for business-to-business (B2B) use, as users shift to more targeted and effective means of obtaining the precise information that’s important to them. Top SADS players will need to respond to new customer demands for proactive personalized content delivery, RSS-powered self-aggregation, specialized vertical search, and content integrated into users’ most critical business applications.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.