Pundits are busy perusing Mary Meeker’s wide-ranging and much-anticipated 2019 Internet Trends Report. This is the first Internet Trends Report Meeker, who was previously with Kleiner Perkins, has produced since launching her venture firm, Bond Capital.
The 333 slides are loaded with statistics on internet use, ecommerce, advertising, business strategies, and other topics. Graph lovers will find a paradise in the slides. These are some key takeaways especially relevant to marketing and communications.
Internet growth is slowing. Emerging markets offer much more opportunity for expansion, as internet use approaches saturation in the US and other developed countries. “The rapid rise of gathered / analyzed digital data is often core to the holistic success of the fastest growing & most successful companies of our time around the world,” Meeker states the report. India, already with more internet users than the US, holds potential for even more. That explains why social apps like LinkedIn and Facebook are increasingly keen to launch features that appeal to Indian users, notes Andrew Hutchinson at Social Media Today.
More stories. Social media attention is shifting to stories. Facebook believes the format represents the future of social media and has been aggressively promoting the format, showing them more frequently in users’ news feeds. Experts have said Facebook Stories can help marketers grow brand awareness, expand their reach, and strengthen relationships with audiences
Podcast listening explodes. The number of monthly podcasts listeners in the US has reached 70 million, doubling over the last four years. The ongoing robust rise in podcast listening should calm fears that the increasing number of podcasts will outpace available listeners and encourage PR and marketing teams to consider launching podcasts.
Online gaming booms. The number of interactive gamers worldwide grew 6% to 2.4 billion people last year, as interactive games like Fortnite become the new social media for some. The number of people who watch the games instead of playing is also increasing. Online gaming has become so popular it’s producing influencers whose popularity borders on celebrity status. Many popular YouTube influencers have at least some connection to gaming. Marketers may wish to examine Twitch, a video streaming platform owned by Amazon that doubles as a social media site.
Negative perceptions toward social media grow. More people express concerns about privacy, too much screen time, and unsavory content on social media. “Major platform providers are upping their efforts to moderate incendiary and unpalatable content; despite these efforts, overall belief that the Internet is good for society is on the decline. And so is global Internet freedom,” comments Jason D. Rowley at Crunch Base.
Online advertising options appearing. While Google and Facebook still dominate online advertising, other companies like Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snap are gaining. “While internet advertising growth is solid & innovation is healthy, there are areas where customer acquisition costs may be rising to unsustainable levels,” Meeker states. Free trials and unpaid tiers can offer cheaper ways to acquire customers, she says.
Bottom Line: The 2019 Internet Trends Report offers gold nuggets of data for digital marketers. While data-loving marketers may wish to view the original document, we’ve distilled the report into these key takeaways.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.