The Queen of the Internet: “Advertisers are Missing Out on $25 Billion”

The Queen of the Internet: “Advertisers are Missing Out on $25 Billion”


What you missed from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report

In 1995, chance are you weren’t using your mobile phone to listen to Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise or read about how O.J. was found innocent. In fact, in 1995, you were more likely to have a pager than a mobile phone.

Data included in Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends report supports this conjecture. Meeker, a venture capitalist, former Wall Street securities analyst, and designated Queen of the Internet, reports that in 1995, there were approximately twenty-five million internet users (0.6% population penetration) and about eighty million mobile phone users (1% population penetration).

How times have changed.

According to Meeker’s report, in 2014 there were 2.8 billion internet users (39% population penetration) and 5.2 billion mobile phone users (73% population penetration).

While global consumer internet traffic has dropped slightly over the last few years (+21% in 2014 vs. +31% in 2012), it’s remained steady due in large part to an increase in mobile usage and engagement.

Today, the average adult spends almost three hours a day – 51% of total Internet usage time – on mobile, compared to less than an hour a day just five years ago. What’s more is that, while 24% of media is consumed on mobile, only 8% of advertising is earmarked for this medium.

Meeker estimates that the disparity between consumer’s mobile usage and what’s actually allocated to mobile advertising equates to $25 billion in missed opportunity for U.S. advertisers (Slide 16).

In addition to making a strong case for mobile advertising, Meeker’s report also includes interesting trends that are likely to impact vendors, brands, and consumers alike. For example:

  • Ad formats for mobile are getting better optimized, which is making them faster and more interactive. Video is also increasingly being used.
  • Optimized “Buy Buttons” for mobile are minimizing hesitancy to purchase at the moment of interest.
  • Small screen vertical viewing is now used 29% of the time (multi-platform) vs. 5% five years ago.
  • Content is increasingly user-generated and curated.
  • Users increasingly use Twitter and Dataminr as their first source for news.
  • Commerce via Internet has risen dramatically (9% of retail sales in 2014 vs. <1% in 1998).

Meeker’s 196-page annual report covers a lot of ground. While tech trends make up about half of the report, she’s also included intriguing data and insights about how drones can be (and are being) used for everything from retail to agriculture (slide 81- 86), the new economy and how millennials are shaping work and flexible consumerism (uber, airbnb) (slide 91 – 148), and the immense Internet environment within China and India (149 – 175).

To keep up with more digital marketing trends, download our e-book, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Success in 2015.