We made it through the darkest hour and have begun to see the
light of dawn. The Great Recession that reduced the
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) to 6,547.05 points, dropped the value of all US
stocks from $22 trillion to $9 trillion, and, in the words of
Warren Buffett, took our economy "off a cliff," is now an arm's
length behind us.
Recovery mode is slow but sure. Annualized growth of 3.3% is
forecasted over the next five years thanks, in large part, to
industries fathered by the Web. In fact, more than doubling the
pace of the GDP is the increase of US mobile Internet connections
that have enjoyed and will continue to see an estimated annual rise
of 7.9% in the 10-year period between 2008 and 2018.
IBISWorld has identified
10 standout industries
that are outpacing the rest of the economy by feeding off surging
Internet traffic and a robust mobile device market.
The year was 1999. Eminem took hip-hop by storm with his
The Slim Shady LP.
President Clinton was tried by the Senate for impeachment. The Y2K
bug was threatening to upend modern society. And
) launched with more than 1 million resumes.
This website debut ushered in a new era of job searching and
recruiting that would replace newspaper ads, paper resumes, and the
USPS by tapping the promise of the new-fangled World Wide Web and
electronic mail. A decade and a half later finds the entire
civilized world comfortably settled into an online existence --
looking for work on the (cooler-sounding) Web or Net and shooting
emails to prospective employers. Internet recruitment has ripened
into a stand-alone industry that reaches hundreds of millions of
visitors on websites each month and will take in $1.7 billion this
Economic downturn and all, properties like CareerBuilder,
), and Indeed have grown an annualized 11.9% since 2003 and can
look forward to that rate of growth over the next five years by
focusing on specialized niche job markets and job seekers.
Before the Internet, fantasy sports was an uncharted and
unglamorous, paper-and-pencil and snail-mail entity -- many leaps
and bounds from the highly profitable enterprise that is now
counted among the fastest growing industries in the world.
Today, drafting and managing fantasy teams of real-life
professional ball players is big business, $1.2 billion to be
exact. Fantasy sports service firms develop software and online
platforms that have taken the activity from tight-knit social
circles to literally any sports fan in the universe with an
Internet connection. Since 2003, the industry has reaped an
"explosive" 240% rate of growth and, as content continues to
accommodate mobile devices, the forecasted 13.1% rise through 2018
should stay right on track.
With a far wider selection available on websites that offer crisp,
zoomable color photos, slipping away is the consumer's need to
actually sit in a chair before buying it. Sure, shoppers still
visit the Ashley Furniture store, IKEA, and
), but the new wave of home goods and decor is happening
exclusively online and also in the emerging market of curated flash
sales sites such as Joss & Main, which promise below-retail
pricing and have mobile apps built into their business models. This
year, online furniture revenue will climb to over $7.5 billion and
the industry will have experienced annualized growth of 13.8%
between 2008 and 2018.
Threatening to put the Al Bundys of the world on the unemployment
rolls is the virtual shoe market. This industry saw $8.9 billion in
2013 sales and will expand every year by 17% until 2018. Akin to
the growing trend of website furniture purchases, shoe shoppers'
confidence has grown enough in the industry to click the "buy"
button despite being, perhaps, thousands of miles away from the
actual product. And when sites like Zappos let customers try on as
many pairs as they want with free shipping and returns on all
orders, little incentive is left to leave the house.
E-Cards and Online Photo Printing
The paper greeting card is getting picked over at the drugstore.
Ironically, people are more and more turning to digital cards and
online purchases to celebrate their Hallmark holidays. The
proliferation of the Internet and social media -- and
) gift program ramp-up -- combined with convenience and
affordability factors have swelled industry revenue by
36% since 2008
. The next five years promise another 40% bump.
The online photo industry has likewise benefited from increased
Internet access as well as ongoing advances in printing technology
and will pick up nearly 28% more business annually until 2018.
Online Payment Processing
An obvious beneficiary of the e-commerce boom are developers of
online payment processing software that make electronic financial
transactions possible. No single firm has emerged as a heavy hitter
in this fragmented market, though the largest player,
), claimed 2
4.2% of the industry's total bottom line in 2012. This makes an
interesting open season of the next five years of market growth; in
that time, the industry is expected to see a 17.2% increase in
revenue per year.
Online Fashion Sample Sales
Capitalizing on the sinking ship that was the US economy in the
mid-2000s, apparel flash sale sites began cropping up on the Web as
the discount shopper's online sanctum. But even as the recession
abated, Americans have continued to keep up the bargain hunt -- to
the tune of $2.5 billion in 2013 -- on sites like
(JWN) and Gilt. In fact, our savvier shopping habits turned Ideeli
into the country's
And there's 55.6% more annual growth to be had within the industry
Social Networking Sites
Investors who blazed the trail in the social media sector by
snapping up shares of Facebook on the first day of trading are now
being rewarded for their pioneer spirit. The long wait to see the
stock rise above $45 is over.
In the black and on the climb, Facebook seems to have sorted out
its once-iffy mobile strategy. The company's second-quarter
earnings report -- touted by experts as a
huge turning point
-- showed 800 million users accessing the social network on a
smartphone or tablet, and mobile ad sales accounting for 41% of
total ad revenue.
) IPO created
1,600 new millionaires
-- though, mostly, of its workforce.
Over the past decade, social networking sites recorded 74.4%
annualized growth with 2103's revenue nearing $6.6 billion. The
next five years will find the industry gaining another 25% through
2018 as it continues to test and prove monetization schemes. And
though Facebook and Twitter currently dominate the social
networking space, the wealth is spreading to a number of publicly
traded companies like LinkedIn,
The term "out of print" is beginning to take on new meaning. Though
a bit hyperbolic, it's been said that a couple of generations from
now, people won't know what a book is.
The $6.8 billion e-book market certainly seems to speak to a
paperless future. Many book publishers are now catering exclusively
to the on-the-go reader by producing digital-only versions of some
of publishing powerhouses Penguin and Random House will likely
propel the company to the top of the e-book industry and let it
reap a large share of the 88.3% revenue growth, annualized between
2008 and 2018.
Social Network Game Development
The big winner, and by a long shot, among the growth industries of
the near-future is the one that has us furiously drawing pictures
of guess words and matching colored candies inside four-inch
screens. Though this sector had barely emerged from the womb 10
years ago, companies that create casual-social games and apps for
mobile devices are expected to make $6 billion in 2013, and are
projected to grow by a 134.4% annual margin through the next five
When founded in 1982,
(EA) was at the forefront of home-computer console gaming and has
survived by evolving with technological advances. The company has
remained relevant with moves like its 2010 acquisition of Angry
Birds publisher Chillingo for
in cash and the launch of
(HAS) classic Battleship game as an app.
(ZNGA), on the other hand, was born a generation later to a player
base of Facebook users and owes the rapid success of Farmville --
which peaked at
82 million players a month
-- to its relationship with the social network.Though the stock has
been in trouble since its public debut, Zynga still lays claim to
some of the most widely played games in the world.