It’s that time of the year again when we’ll get a detailed insight into the Internet Trends and the economics of the world, all thanks to ex Morgan Stanley internet analyst – Mary Meeker.
Meeker, who is now a partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers(KPCB) presented her latest report at the on-going Code Conference in California and outlined some of the biggest evolutions in technology. She has been at it for the past 20 years, compiling yearly technological data to provide the internet with a chance to analyse the trends themselves.
According to the report, the number of global internet users has now crossed the 3 billion mark, but it has experienced a slowdown seeing a flat 9 per cent growth in 2015. This might seem a gruesome issue as the YoY hasn’t peeked into the two-digit club for the past years, but it doesn’t really amount to anything. This growth rate excludes developing countries like India, which has reported a record 40 per cent YoY growth in the past year.
The growth figures were led by developing countries, like our own, so startups you better start focusing on us, we are the ones who will drive a lot of traffic for you.
This accelerating online growth has nudged India to surpass the United States and become the second largest global internet user market, just behind China. India now has an internet penetration of over 22 per cent and is connecting over 277 million users of the country. The internet user growth has been phenomenal in India, seeing a jump of over 70 million people alone in the past year.
This is just one of the key takeaways from Mary Meeker’s report, who has detailed the global growth(or slowdown!?) and its impact on the current technological scenario. From the global smartphone data, GDP growth, to the hottest mediums of advertising or messaging have been detailed in the report.
Let’s take a peek at some of the most influential cutting-edge technological developments that have been given a page in the vast 213 slide report, put together by Meeker.
- Amidst a global slowdown, the smartphone shipments have also taken a hit. Even the though the number of units shipped in 2015 has seen a surge, but the YoY growth has slumped from 28 per cent to a meager 10 per cent. There has been little or no innovation in the smartphone market in the past couple of years, so users see no point in replacing their devices with a new one each year.
- Android is overtaking iOS in terms of market share with a margin, which means that Android is becoming dear to the developers while iOS seems to be staggering amidst drop in sales and quarterly revenue. The report also sheds light on the average price of an Android and iOS device on an yearly basis. This reveals that Android devices are becoming cheaper day by day, thanks to the competition to serve the developing markets like, China, India or Indonesia. It also places India in the bottom two according to the smartphone material cost with respect to Per Capita Income.
- Advertising has also seen an yearly growth of 20 per cent in the United States, amounting to a total revenue of over $60 billion. Online advertising saw a major surge in traffic from mobile users(over 60%), which was lead by Google and Facebook who controlled over 76 per cent of the digital advertising revenue. Facebook saw an yearly growth of 59 per cent in advertising revenue, which is pressing them further to concentrate their efforts on new ways of online advertising.
- The introduction of new advertising mediums and practices has given rise to and pushed forward the ad-blocking agenda, which has been led by users from China, India and Indonesia. Meeker reports that many ad mediums are ineffective because over 80 percent people mute video ads, 60 percent are put off and switch tabs, while over 90 percent prefer to use an ad-blocking software to enjoy an ad-free fun experience. And now mobile ad-blocking has also seen an upsurge in the past year.
- Video viewership is increasing at a ballistic pace, but the content requires to be authentic, entertaining, relevant and brief. The millenial population( i.e ages 18-33) is utilizing the power of social networking and video content to reach out to the masses and make their voice heard. Millenials and Generation Z have moved away from the traditional means of video viewing to a more real-time experience. Snapchat and Facebook Live are paving the way for the future, because they combine personal communication and user-generated broadcast in one application. Sponsored content drives huge engagement but need to evolve with the ever-changing scenario.
- Messaging forms an integral part of people’s lives since the introduction of the wireless phones. But in the rapidly growing messaging scenario, the market is dominated by the king of social media Facebook. Whatsapp and Messenger followed closely by WeChat form the cluster of applications that are transforming the way we communicate. It is becoming more of an application aggregator providing all possible services inside the chat messenger, that it could now act as the home screen of your smartphone.
- Meeker believes that we’re re-imagining the human and computer interface by introducing voice into the mix. Voice is the latest paradigm shift in computer development that is fast, cheap, personalized and hands-free. This has been supported with a graph showing an increase in Amazon Echo device sales as compared to the dropping iPhone figures. She also believes that Google and its latest introduction Assistant could drive the future voice searches on Google’s platform. This will also lead to the integration of software platforms powered by voice in smart cars.
- The U.S Auto industry saw a sharp decline in sales due to lack of innovation around the 2010’s(if you see the sharp cuts in the graph below), but the auto seems to have been given a second chance at life. This sudden rise in sales has been made possible by innovations from Tesla and Google, who are working on self-driving electric automobiles. But there is also the fear of a downfall if Uber and Lyft continue to make it easy for the people to share rides and commute to their workplaces. India could also be a part of this shared mobility leadership, as it offers the key ingredients for the same(rapid urbanization, limited public infra, large millenial population)
- The report has a dedicated section for the discussion of the biggest internet user in the global market, China. The country has over 650 million internet users, which is 3 fold as compared to India. The increasing urbanization is creating a mass market with opportunities for mobile service providers and application developers. Tencent, the owner of messaging platform WeChat is the one to enjoy the biggest piece of pie when compared to other Chinese tech giants like Alibaba or Baidu. Also, if you notice there is almost negligible presence of American companies in the Chinese market.
- The report also mentions that non-tech giants are acquiring tech companies to fuel growth and transition into digital media, as data becomes the next big platform. This also brings into question how cyber security has evolved over the period of this one year, and how we’ve received less intrusions into our data as compared to last year.
Watch Mary Meeker read the whole report aloud to the crowd at Code Conference 2016 :
or if you’re really interested in all the finding of the global internet trends report, here is the 213 pager just for you: