The Most Impressive Trends In Digital Media

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If there is one deck of slide that marketers should be paying attention to, it is this one.

Marketing nerds (like me), wait for Mary Meeker to deliver her annual Internet trends report. The Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers venture capitalist has been putting together these annual trends for a long while, and they are – without question – the definitive view on what’s happening online (and how this affects business). It should come as no surprise, that the biggest shifts are happening in two spaces:

  1. Mobile. Mobile data traffic is up over 80% (not a typo) and video is one of the major drivers behind this. Now, more than ever, consumers are highly connected, untethered and watching/engaging with video everywhere. Mobile usage and growth is very strong.
  2. The Non-North American Growth. Internet usage is seeing its fastest growth in India, Indonesia and Nigeria. Smartphone subscriber growth is fastest in China, India, Brazil and Indonesia. Now you know why Google and Facebook are flying drones and balloons up into the sky, in the hopes of connecting the entire planet. In order for companies like that to truly scale, they need to connect this massive, last mile.

Overall Internet usage is slowing. This should not come as a surprise.

In my second business book, CTRL ALT Delete, one of the five movements that have changed business forever that most brands are doing nothing about,is something that I call, the one screen world. It’s not about three (or four) screens (TV, computer, mobile and tablet). The only screen that matters is the the screen that is in front of me. We are currently living in both the post-PC and post-Web browser era. The data and insights in Meeker’s Internet Trends 2014 validates this reality. The world continues to grow in terms of connectivity and usage, but it’s predominantly happening on mobile screens. Globally, mobile accounts for more than 25% of all Web usage, and – most important for marketers – it is taking a bigger share of Internet advertising (with lots of potential future growth). The stats look a lot like the early days of the Internet. In 2013, consumers spent 20% of their time on mobile, but only 5% of the ad spend is happening there. Those were the same issues/opportunities that the Internet experienced close to a decade ago. Logic would dictate that brands are not going to make the same mistake twice, and that the equalization of consumer time spent and ad spend will come together at a much quicker clip.

What about advertising?

One of the more fascinating components of Internet Trends 2014 is the growth of video. It turns out, that apps are taking over from regular TV channels as a preferred medium for watching video. 41% of Americans (aged 16-34) watch their TV live (that’s scary, when you really think about it). With that, YouTube continues to dominate as consumers increase their love of short-form videos. Meeker reports that, "consumers even love ads." Let me translate this for each and every marketer reading this: if your ads are good, people will – proactively – go to YouTube, watch them, share them and talk about them? How many brands take this into consideration at the creative development phase? If a TV commercial posted on YouTube can generate millions of views (from people proactively looking at them), what is the value? On top of that, brands can post these ads for free (no hefty media costs and worries about time and placement). Oh, and if that wasn’t stunning enough, over 20% of video watching globally happens on mobile devices.

That’s just the beginning.

You could spend hours with Internet Trends 2014 and still just be scratching the surface. You probably should (I know that I am). Here are all 164 slides of Mary Meeker’s research and insights. Dig in, dig deep and get to work…