Top take outs from Mary Meeker’s 2017 Global Internet Trends Report

The much-anticipated annual Mary Meeker Internet trends report has landed. This year’s version is a whopping 355 slides, packed full of informative stats, detailed charts and very interesting information.

As usual, this is a global view, with a US skew covering broad themes – some trends are no surprise, some have huge opportunities and scope, many are evolutions on the emerging trends from 2015 & 16 reports.

In the 2017 instalment, she looks at what’s happening with Internet and smartphone growth, advertising measurement, e-commerce winners, interactive gaming, media disruption and the impact of ‘the cloud’. This is followed by deep-dives into the bemouth markets of China and India, a new section to the report repertoire, focused on healthcare, finishing with a nod to domination of the global internet companies and some macro trends… That’s a good few hours solid reading so here is a top ten of the take-outs from the general global trends front section:

  1. Smartphones reaching saturation – Accessibility is increasing steadily with all internet users up 10% (flat) but smartphone shipments only increased by 3% (previously 10% YOY growth), suggesting that most people around the world who want or can get a smartphone now have one.
  2. Domination of the big duo
    Google and Facebook account for 85% of the digital Ad share in the US and this is increasing. With more data and more impression available to improve and develop their offering, they are going to become harder to catch-up.
  3. Ad blocking rockets
    In developing markets like China and India, where data cost can be high, users are increasing opting out due to irrelevance and in mobile, this is happening at a faster rate. Globally, nearly 400 million users blocked ads last year.
  4. Measurement matters more
    Advertisers are demanding more, in terms of product and proving value of their investment and leading platforms are responding. Facebook, Google and Snapchat are offering better transparency on their data for insights, improved targeting capabilities, more shoppable formats and increasing the tools available to measure success against a greater number of metrics.
  5. Visual and voice gains momentum
    Google Lens provides greater context to images, so taking pictures can replace typing – and with all the vast data and existing algorithms available it’s following the success of Adwords. Snapchat is also leading the way, generating $160 billion net revenue in Q4 last year with ads served dependant on images shared. Voice has arrived with 20% of Google searches now via voice and voice-powered devices like Amazon Echo now taking pride of place in over 11 million US homes.
  6. eCommerce growth accelerates
    The volume of parcels delivered in the US has jumped by 9% year-on-year driven by the shift people to eCommerce channels and the success of services like Amazon Prime. In comparison, retails store closures are predicted to hit a record high at nearly 7,000 this year. On the flip side, Amazon is looking to expand its bricks-and-mortar footprint.
  7. Eating in is the new eating out – Amazing food from your favourite eateries ordered via a smartphone and conveniently delivered straight to your door is increasingly popular. Deliveries are taking a bigger share of the restaurant’s pie (7% up from 2%) and enablers like DoorDash in the US seeing a 45% growth in revenue since last year.
  8. Gaming is a game-changer
    Global interactive gaming is becoming massive, with 2.6 billion gamers in 2017 vs. 100 million in 1995, this is driven by big interactive, multi-player games, the growth in e-sports and the popularity with casual and app gaming bringing in a larger female contingent. Global gaming revenue is set to be around $100 billion for last year with China being the lead market for interactive gaming.
  9. Better user experience disrupts the status quo
    Digital leaders are transforming the media delivery space with disruptive price models and great data-driven user experiences. With streaming music services like Spotify reaching 50 million paid subscribers and Netflix taking 30% of US home entertainment revenue in video space – easy access, huge choice and personalisation are winning the day.
  10. The cloud is king for enterprises
    Cloud adoption by leading providers Amazon AWS, Azure, Google and IBM is huge and is creating new opportunities for business, as well as new vulnerabilities and security challenges. Public and data cloud investment is creeping up to traditional data centre spend and has seen a 37% growth YOY.

The healthcare section that follows her emerging market dives showcases the impact of technology, increased data inputs, coupled with a willingness to share is having in this space. It is enlightening to any curious, science fan to see how the trends are changing our world and become a part of our everyday lives.

Before finishing she emphases the huge scale and growth rate of the Global Internet giants, by showcasing the 2017 Global market capitalisation leaderboard –  with the top 5 (Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft & Facebook) all coming from the technology sector, compared to just two in 2014. This clearly highlights the winners in today’s digital marketplace.

In her closing thoughts, she shares some positive macro trends, emphasising the world is getting a little better; the percentage of people in extreme poverty and child mortality rates continue to decrease and the percentage of people living in a democracy and population literacy rates continue to increase – a nice place to end.


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