Thursday, 5 February 2015

Genealogy - a declining market?, the largest player in commercial genealogy, released its annual and fourth quarter financial results on Feb 3. Read them at While the subtleties of non-GAPP revenues and adjusted EBITDA go over my head some of figures speak to me.

The company continues to report net losses, $18.3 million in 2014, $79.7 million in 2013, $1.9 million in 2012. The company last made a profit, $62.9 million, in 2011

Subscribers of Ancestry websites totaled approximately 2,115,000 as of December 31, 2014, compared to 2,140,000 as of December 31, 2013. That's a 1.2% decease. The previous year had seen a 6.2% increase, the year before that an 18.4% increase and the previous year 22%.

The trend of the maturing of the market is clear despite expectations that genealogy would boom as Boomers retire. The search for new markets explains the push on AncestryDNA, now in Europe, and the continuing expansion of digitized newspapers at


Anonymous said...

This article provides some potential reasons for the decline, especially that LDS church members may be letting their memberships lapse as they take advantage of the arrangement between ancestry and family search which allows free access to ancestry for church members:

Anonymous said...

Ancestry is now competing for dollars from people who are spending money on dna tests and who have other avenues for research as well. Many retired people cannot afford to pay the large annual fee, and after the initial usage and gathering of a lot of information, are not motivated to renew. I did not receive any reminders,request or incentives to renew my subscription. I can use Ancestry at the public library, too.
Anne S. in Ottawa