Each year around this time, Mary Meeker, a little known but highly regarded analyst at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, releases and delivers her extensive outlook for the trends and developments shaping the Internet for the coming year.
Based on a wealth of hard data and a highly trained eye for spotting the macro trends shaping where digital technology and the Internet are headed, Meeker’s presentation is a headlinemaker each year and drives the dialogue in a lot of classrooms, boardrooms and offices around the country and the globe. Meeker delivered her Internet Trends 2014 report at the Code Conference last week. You can view the entire presentation here; in the meantime, we’ve highlighted the most relevant and, we believe, important Internet and digital trends brands should be aware of and consider for their marketing strategies in 2014 and beyond.
- Mobile is on the move. The big news here isn’t that mobile is growing by leaps and bounds, but in how much room it still has to grow. The percentage of people accessing the web and/or apps, mobile app development and engagement, mobile ad revenue all are on the rise. But all have significant room to continue to grow for years to come. The question and challenge for brands becomes similar to the one they face in regards to the web in general today how do you cut through the clutter and stand out?
- Mobile advertising in particular is ready to take off. Consumers spend 20 percent of their time on a mobile device, including tablets, yet mobile only accounted for 4 percent of total ad revenue in 2013. While mobile ad as a platform presents its challenges, those brands that figure out to do it effectively can stand out in a field that’s not yet that crowded, a key competitive advantage.
- Live TV is losing its luster among young people. Call it the House of Cards effect. We live in an on-demand world, and that gets more true the younger you are. Younger consumers are much less attached to the idea of watching a show “live,” i.e., its regularly scheduled day and time. We want to watch what we want to watch when we want to watch it, hence the rise of Netflix, HBO GO and the like. With few remaining exceptions (sports and news being the most prominent), live TV is losing out to ondemand.
- The secondscreen revolution is real. Ironically, live TV’s best hope may be in the rise of mobile. The “second screen” phenomenon in which people watch live TV “together” with fellow enthusiasts around the country via social networks like Twitter and Facebook is actually helping to stem the decline in liveTV viewership. People like on-demand, but many of them like being able to tweet along with their friends while they all watch a show at the same time even more.
- Wearable technology is winding up. We like to laugh at pictures of people in Google Glass, but that overlooks the other ways in which wearable technology will be the next big gadget class. From fitness trackers like Fitbit to smartwatches from Samsung and (we expect) Apple, devices that track what you do and keep your life even more handy than your phone or tablet are hitting the market at an increasing rate. And it’s just the beginning of where this category can and will go.
As with just about any industry, having a better understanding of where the Internet and digital technology are headed and how you can benefit from it is of crucial importance to brands. You can view the entire Internet Trends 2014 report here.