Trendspotting: Internet users slow while mobile grows (KPCB Internet Trend Report 2014)

Mobile data traffic is growing at 81% y/y, with video a "strong driver." Summary of Mary Meeker's eagerly anticipated annual Internet trends report.

Tablet Rocketship: Tablet shipments by quarter are growing faster than PCs ever did according to Mary Meeker and her annual trend report.
Tablet Rocketship: Tablet shipments by quarter are growing faster than PCs ever did according to Mary Meeker and her annual trend report.
Tablet Rocketship: Tablet shipments by quarter are growing faster than PCs ever did according to Mary Meeker and her annual trend report.

Mobile continues to fuel Internet growth. That’s one of several key takeaways in Mary Meeker’s famed annual Internet trend report. Released today (and presented at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California), the report, researched by the Kleiner Perkins analyst and several partners, notes that mobile data traffic is growing at 81% y/y, with video a “strong driver.”

The 164 slide also reveals that tablets are still considered “early stage” by her estimation with 52% y/y growth in shipments. In fact, they are growing as a segment “faster than PCs ever did.” And there appears to be even more upside ahead. At merely 6% population penetration–perhaps another way of referring to “market saturation”–for tablets is lowest among major consumer product categories, including the desktop PC, laptop PC, smartphone, mobile phone, and TV (the leader at 78% penetration).

When it comes to mobile operating systems, there’s not much of a surprise. Google’s Android dominates. Apple’s iOS trails in second. And Microsoft’s Windows Phone is still a bit player. All told 97% of all smartphones run an OS “Made in USA” – astonishingly, that’s up from 5% in only eight years.

According to Meeker global Internet advertising “remains strong.” Clocking in at about $116 billion for both desktop and mobile advertising, the market grew 11% y/y (with, again, mobile accounting for most of the growth opportunity).

Regarding social media, there are many interesting findings. Too numerous to elaborate here (best to read report here on Slideshare). A few things worth noting:

  • Top Facebook publishers: Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and ABC News
  • Top Twitter publishers: BBC, New York Times, and Mashable
  • Twitter is the fastest when it comes to social distribution with half of total social referrals for an article taking place in 6.5 hours vs. 9 hours on Facebook

A core part of this year’s presentation is built on the theme of “Re-imaging.” Meeker provides perspective on several industries that are undergoing re-imaging including: money (Bitcoin), hospitality (airbnb), grocery shopping (Instacart, Amazon Fresh), Music (streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, Beats), home renovation (Houzz), local business discovery (Yelp), people moving (Uber), crowdsourcing and traffic (Waze).

The future of TV sees 4 driving principles according to the report:

  • Proliferation of screens
  • Elimination of traditional remote controls (yes!)
  • Replacement of channels with apps
  • Replacement of “linear TV” with Internet TV

On the topic of YouTube and videos–a topic near and dear to my heart here on Stark Insider–it’s noted that “consumers love video,” A bevvy of new stars have been created thanks to YouTube (Justin Bieber notwithstanding). The average duration of the top 10 videos on YouTube are about 7 minutes (that’s a surprise) suggesting that user’s appetite for long form video does exist when the content fits.

There’s a lot more in this year’s KPCB Internet trends report, and I highly recommend you at least skim through some of the key points (see embedded presentation below). Mary Meeker and her team are skilled at boiling down lots of information and data into salient takeaways.

If I had to summarize her report with three points, this would be it:

  1. Mobile is big
  2. China is big
  3. Video is big

KPCB Internet trends 2014 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
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