Every year for the past two decades the venture capital firm, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers (KPCB) delivers a report that the whole digital community goes wild for. Published on May 26, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015 report is a must read for anyone working in the digital marketing world, but for those of you who don’t have time to go through all 196 slides we’ve distilled it down to 11 valuable insights.
1. The Rise of Mobile
If you had to point to a recurring theme throughout Meeker’s report it would no doubt be: the rise of mobile; a trend that was the key driver behind Google’s recent mobile update.
Over the past 20 years global mobile penetration has risen from 1% to 73%, with 40% of the world’s more than 5 billion mobile users now owning smartphones.
2. We Spend a Third of Our Waking Hours Watching Screens
So now that 96% of Americans own a mobile what happens? Answer: they spend almost twice as much time engaging with digital media as they did in 2008. Americans now spend an average of 3 hours per day on their mobile devices.
3. Ad Spend Is Moving Online
Not only has the rise of mobile completely transformed the way we engage with digital media but it’s radically changed advertising spend. As the graph below highlights internet ad spend (when coupled with mobile) now makes up 30% of total ad spend in the US. Also, note the effectiveness of internet and mobile adverts compared with print. Print ads have incredibly low engagement levels compared with online/mobile ads, where the audience is not only bigger but the ads are cheaper and more targeted.
4. Mobile Use Has Eclipsed Desktop
The average American now spends more time on their mobile than on their desktop. However, they still spend more time in front of the television than they do on their mobile, with the average American spending a whopping 4 hours per day in front of the tube.
5. SaaS Software Is Transforming Business
In this year’s report Mary Meeker dedicates some 16 slides to outlining the developments and trends taking place in the world of enterprise software. From Slack to DocuSign, Meeker outlines a host of valuable cloud-based SaaS (software as service) enterprise software solutions that have taken off over the past 12 months, transforming the way businesses do everything from internal communications to point of sale transactions.
6. Messaging Apps Have Revolutionised Communication
Messaging apps are booming, with 6 of the world’s top 10 most popular apps being messaging apps. Communicating via mobile messaging is a truly global trend with WhatsAPP in the US (800 million active users); KakaoTalk in South Korea (48 million active users); and WeChat in China (550 million active users). And with global smartphone subscriptions growing globally by 400-500 million users per year, expect this trend to continue.
7. User Generated Content Is Booming
Another trend facilitated by the rise of mobile is the growth of user-generated content. Facebook alone has more than 4 billion user-shared video views per day, up 400% over the past 6 months. But this trend doesn’t stop at video, Twitch – the world’s leading video game platform and gaming community – now has more than 100 million users; and in just two years more than 100 million tracks have been uploaded to SoundCloud – an audio platform that enables sound creators to upload, record, promote and share their own original work.
8. Millennials Remain the Trendsetters
As was the case last year, 12-24 year old millennials continue to be the trendsetters; so with this in mind it should come as no surprise that a recent survey by Zogby Analytics found that 87% of millennials agreed with the statement ‘my smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.’ More than 75% of this demographic use some form of social media, and more than 40% use the camera on their smartphone to create original video content.
9. We Love Real-Time Apps
The real-time capabilities of smartphones has also caused us to become increasingly dependent on real-time applications. For example, 84% of American mobile users now use their smartphones for turn-by-turn navigation whilst driving, and 46% to get real-time transport information. This trend has led to massive growth in ‘just in time’ products and services like Uber, Airbnb and Postmates.
10. Commercial Drone Use Is Here to Stay
Drone use across America and Europe is becoming increasingly commonplace, with consumer drone shipments growing 167% year on year since 2013. So no matter whether they are being used as military craft, research tool, or delivery robot, it seems safe to say that the world’s favourite high-tech toy is set to become a permanent fixture of modern life, with more than 400 companies in the US now approved to commercially operate drones across the agriculture, mining and infrastructure sectors.
11. Alibaba’s Exponential Growth
Ever since the late 1990’s the internet has transformed commerce, radically changing the way we buy and sell products. In the west global e-commerce leaders such as Amazon and eBay have led the way, but notice the rapid ascent of the red line in the graph below. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant is now the third largest public Internet company by market capitalisation, behind only Apple and Google.
Since KPCB’s first trends report was published twenty years ago, the number of global Internet users has risen from 35 million in 1995 to over 2.8 billion today. However, reading through Mary Meeker’s 2015 report it’s clear to see that the focus has shifted from desktop to mobile.
The rise of mobile has stimulated further growth in internet engagement and has led us to spend more and more of our waking hours online. This has opened the door for real-time service providers such as Uber, user-generated content platforms like YouTube, and has completely shaken up the global advertising market. Put simply, mobile has revolutionised the way we use the internet, and forced us to be connected 24/7.
View the ‘Internet Trends 2015’ report presentation here:
How will these trends affect your business?