On the occasion of the Code Conference, currently being held in California, Mary Meeker presented the latest version of her highly anticipated Internet Trends Report. A venture capitalist and partner in the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers fund, Mary Meeker delivers her analysis of the 9 trends to follow in Tech this year.
- Smartphone sales stabilize, with declining annual growth rates (+ 3% in 2016, compared to an increase of + 10% observed in 2017). At the same time, Internet user engagement on mobile, measured by the time spent on the Internet, is increasing. In 2016, mobile users spent 3.1 hours per day on the Web, against 2.8 hours in 2015 (+ 11%). In the space of 5 years, the time spent browsing on mobile has doubled.
Direct consequence of this strong commitment on mobile, the budgets allocated to mobile advertising are becoming increasingly important in overall ad spend. In 2016, it accounted for almost half of advertising budgets in the United States. And for the first time in 2016, internet ad spend exceeded TV ad spend, with Google and Facebook sharing 85% of the total. Photos as well as voice commands may eventually completely replace writing, for the sector specialist.
With 2.6 billion players, occasional or regular, the mobile gaming sector, and gaming more generally, is booming. Mary Meeker highlights strong parallels between online gaming and the fundamentals of an online business. Storytelling, interactions between players, data analysis, culture of testing and error: the skills developed through gaming are transposable to the business world. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, also claim to be big fans of online games.
Pure-players, such as Spotify in the field of music, or Netflix and YouTube in video, have profoundly transformed online media consumption. Lower costs than traditional alternatives, more choice, personalized recommendations, etc., all of which are attractive to users. Spotify exceeded the 50 million active user mark in 2016, and Netflix has seen the time spent on its platform increase by 669% in 5 years.
- The cloud is today a real accelerator of the digital transformation of companies. And for good reason, companies seem to gradually favor private and public cloud solutions, to the detriment of data centers. Applications stored in the cloud are therefore cheaper to develop, easier to adopt, but more difficult to secure.
- In China, the fields of entertainment and on-demand transport are booming, and support the growth of the economy. The entertainment industry generates just over $ 30 billion in revenue. Gaming represents a little more than 70% of revenue in the sector, livestream 20%. Another observation is that China is now the country generating the most revenue in the world in the interactive games sector. In terms of on-demand transport as well, China is now the world’s largest market. Mobile payment infrastructures available in the country largely explain this advance, for Mary Meeker.
- India’s internet penetration rate continues to rise. Evaluated at 15% in 2014, it is estimated at 27%, or 12 points more, in 2016. At the same time, the number of Internet users is increasing very quickly, with growth rates above 25% for 5 years. In 2016, 355 million internet users were identified, i.e. 28% more than in 2015.
Driven by innovations made possible by digital technology, the health sector is at a critical juncture, believes the investment specialist. Today, nearly one in four Americans has a wearable, 16% more than the previous year. Who says wearables said sharing of health data with companies, a sensitive subject for patients. However, 60% say they are ready to share their health data with Google, and 56% with Microsoft.
Finally, the latest trend identified by Mary Meeker, the tendency to buy out companies sector by other companies, allowing them to evolve their initial model. The number of mergers and acquisitions in Tech has indeed been on the rise since 2013. In 2016, a total of 439 transactions were recorded, against 141 in 2015.