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Internet users and smartphones growth slows while time spent climbs

June 6, 2018 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

Mary Meeker, the internet trends guru from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has just released her annual examination of the global technology landscape. Meeker understands consumers’ relationship with technology. Her insights identify changing marketplace strategies and business practices. In her Internet Report 2018, one shifting strategy she calls out is Google’s move from online ad platform to ecommerce platform. Equally significant, she notes, is the fact that Amazon is doing the direct opposite.

Other key highlights from the report include:

  • Internet penetration is slowing down. While more than half of the world’s population is now online, new Internet users only grew by 7% in 2017, down from 12% a year ago. Smartphone growth shows a similar pattern. Further, with limited new users, apps will find fewer to sign-up.

  • Consumer are not disconnecting from media. In fact, digital media consumption continues to increase.S. adults spend 5.9 hours per day on digital media compared 5.6 hours a year ago. Mobile, especially mobile video usage is responsible for the overall growth in time spent in digital media.
  • Mobile payment adoption is growing. The payment process is also becoming easier to complete.
  • A gap exists between mobile time spend and ad spending there. Twenty-nine percent of time is spent in mobile but only 26% of advertising dollars. This creates a 7 billion opportunity in the mobile advertising marketplace.
  • Tech companies are a core component of the U.S. economy. They account for 25% of U.S. market capitalization.
    • However, consumers question their business strategies of using personal data to provide better consumer experiences while violating consumer privacy.
    • Only one-quarter (25%) of U.S. adults report they are willing to share personal data for benefits (lower costs, etc.). Further, close to two-thirds of U.S. consumers delete or avoid apps because of data privacy concerns.

  • Voice-controlled products like Amazon Echo show significant growth. The Echo’s installed base in the U.S. grew from 20 million in the third quarter of 2017 to more than 30 million in the fourth quarter. News behavior in listening to news, music and shop are emerging.

Meeker’s 294-page presentation offers a snapshot of the marketplace. It provides broad economic trends and studies global growth. The report is well-worth the read to keep pace with the marketplace.

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