Mary Meeker’s internet trends 2014 – part 1- summary

Mary Meeker’s annual internet trends publication is often seen as a deep resource from which to plan going forward. Although reflective in the sense it covers what has happened in the previous 12 months, Ms Meeker always does a solid job pulling together interweaving threads. This year is no exception although I can see of areas where the conclusions reached seem to be little more than confirmation of what we already hear on a daily basis with little of real controversy. Adding numbers to the mix is important and this is where Meeker shines.

Regardless, there’s a lot to take in all at once. For this story, we’re merely bullet pointing the highlights and then dissecting selected pieces in separate articles.

One thing to note – while Meeker’s analysis is global in some places there is a tendency for her to concentrate upon US specific data as reference points for certain conclusions.

  • Internet user growth has slowed below 10%, fastest growth in ‘difficult to monetize’ areas like Indonesia, Nigeria, India.
  • Smartphone growth continues at 205+ but is slowing, fastest growth in BRIC countries.
  • Mobile data traffic is up 81% year-over-year – largely accounted for by video of which 22% is represented by mobile usage.
  • Smartphones in use by 30% of global mobile phone users implying significant room for growth.
  • Print advertising ‘over indexed’ while mobile advertising represents a $30 billion opportunity in the US alone. This is further supported by the fact mobile apps account for 68% of total mobile spend.
  • Number of cyber attack groups grew 4x since 2013, now numbering some 300.
  • There may be something of a bubble in stock values but nothing like the 1999-2000 era.
  • US education spending ranked 4th in the world but results are subpar (rank 27th globally in math / 20th in science / 17th in reading) but online education has become global (examples given = Duolingo, Coursera)
  • Healthcare ripe for overhaul via digital technologies with 27% of US spend categorized as ‘waste,’ but patient engagement systems e.g. Redbrick, Teledoc, Mango Health and WellDoc showing impressive ROI
  • Image and video sharing rising rapidly
  • Apps as service layers where apps are surfaced as required via sensors and context not as discrete idle apps
  • Re-imagining content + content delivery mechanisms e.g. BuzzFeed (seen as leader in sheer numbers) using list articles, quizzes, how-to’s, some breaking, video and mobile.
  • General re-imagining of day to day services such as shopping, over night stays, taxi services, take away food services and home renovation driven by user experience.
  • Two-thirds of digital content created by users but use of sensor technology rising rapidly – 50% year over year.
  • There are now around 5 million Bitcoin wallets,  representing x8 year-over-year growth.
  • Global compute, storage and bandwidth costs all falling rapidly
  • 34% of data in ‘digital universe’ considered useful but ony 7% is tagged and less than 1% analyzed. In short, these are very early days for the ‘internet of things.’
  • Best use case for early data mining/analysis is seen in solving specific problems using pattern matching e.g. reduced fuel consumption with Nest.
  • Although traditional TV still dominates, consumption patterns changing with high growth in tablet and smartphone usage accompanied by emergence of higher quality advertising.
  • Microsoft is the number two globally trafficked property while Yahoo! is number four.
  • China is considered the mobile commerce innovation world leader.
  • Global internet leaders (Google, Facebook, Tencent, Alibaba) all investing heavily in M&A

Featured image via Joseph Rosenfeld

Den Howlett
Following 20+ years in finance and IT related roles, Den Howlett became a freelance writer/analyst/commenter specialising in enterprise IT. He has been calling the vendors to account ever since.
Den Howlett


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