Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report is often referred to as the state of the union for the media and technology industry. In it, Meeker—a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB)—highlights the biggest internet developments for the coming year. Her report provides insights on digital adoption, identifies which interfaces are resonating, and examines the dynamics of ecommerce.
- Mobile dominates digital usage. U.S. adults now spend 5.6 hours a day using digital media, 3.1 hours (from 2.8 in 2015) via mobile devices and 2.2 hours on desktop and laptop.
- The ad spend on mobile is not proportionate to the share of time spent on mobile. While consumers spend 28% of their time on mobile, only 21% of the digital ad dollars is spent on mobile media. This is expected to correct itself in the second half of this year.
- As internet advertising continues to increase, the growth is concentrated in Google and Facebook, the internet duopoly. Meeker’s report notes that Google and Facebook control 85% of online ad growth. Google’s ad revenue grew 20% and Facebook 62% in 2016. For everyone else, the growth was less than 10% year over year.
- Internet users are concerned about their privacy and security online. Consumers report being concerned with how their data is being collected, used and stored. Consistency and self-regulation of privacy policies are important steps in the monitoring the Internet ecosystem.
Where Meeker’s insights meet opportunity:
- Voice recognition software and devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home are reshaping the consumer digital experience. In fact, Amazon Echo is now installed in 11 million households in the U.S. Further, 20% of all mobile searches are now voice activated.
- Gaming goes mainstream. There are now 2.6 billion gamers today compared to a 100 million in 1995. In fact, viewing time for eSports, professional video gaming live-events and tournament, increased by 40% compared to a year ago. The gaming revenue concentration remains in Asia, with 47% of 2016’s $100 billion global market. Meeker believes video gaming’s socially engaging features will offer new businesses opportunities and sporting events.
- Streaming music helps revives the music industry. Spotify, the marketplace leader, exceeded physical music sales, adding to the first revenue growth in the music industry in the last 16 years. Free trials are also driving sampling and subscription sign-ups.
- Healthcare data is flowing with approximately 25% of U.S. consumers owning a wearable device, up 12% from a year ago. Further, 6 in 10 people report they are willing to share with health information with Google. Collecting and analyzing healthcare data has huge implications for the medical and healthcare sector from aiding clinical trials to identifying geographical and environmental healthcare concerns.
The marketplace is rapidly advancing and continues to grow in importance. According to Meeker, the top 20 Internet companies—many of which were not around before 1995—have a market value of nearly $3 trillion. New media platforms and information technologies are transforming new market economies. Yet it is important to note that Meeker sees new opportunities across multiple platforms to connect and add value for consumers.