Yes apps are a minority but growing segment of the Directory market. We see print yellow page companies failing and going into bankruptcy worldwide from Italy to Australia. Print is out, web is in. And apps are one of the solutions that fill the void when people need to find stuff fast.
Is it a model reborn? From here it looks like a different device pulling out exactly the same sql queries from the same dataset. Does that make it different - or is it more of the same with a new twist?
Yes because the app owner effectively owns the access chain. It used to be that the print directory owner had the captive audience because the user had to have access to a copy of the print directory but with the app, the same access model exists.
The more things go round, the more often they come back, perhaps with a different window dressing, but still the same thing. There are historical versions in all kinds of human endeavor which reveals this. Even has a name cyclical theory : [en.wikipedia.org...]