10 Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report

She has a new firm, but she still shares her annual insights

Photo of Mary Meeker for story about her research report
The latest edition of Meeker's hotly anticipated research report is out.
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Venture capitalist Mary Meeker is back with her annual Internet Trends report, with another look at where we collectively stand in technology, advertising, consumer behavior and society.

There are some recurring themes, like privacy, offensive content, the gig economy and China’s leadership in digital video and retail.

Surprisingly, there was little mention of Amazon or Alibaba in the latest report. Instead, new topics like Fortnite, freemium business models and screen time found their way into Meeker’s 333 slides.

From her report, we culled 10 topics and highlights. Consider it Mary Meeker, Abridged: 

1. Online Advertising

In 2018, the percentage of advertising spend in desktop and mobile channels drew even with the percentage of time consumers spent in those channels—18% for desktop and 33% for mobile. (And programmatic buying was up to 62% of display ad spend globally.)

In 2010, on the other hand, consumers spent 25% of their time on desktops and advertisers spent 19% of their budgets there, versus 0.5% spend on mobile with consumers spending 8% of their time there.

Internet ad spend was up 22% overall in the last year, which is slightly higher than the 21% growth in 2017. Meeker said platforms that gain ad share are doing so with better targeting, new creative, commerce and high relevance.

Ad share drivers by social media channel

2. Second Screens

The average daily time consumers spend on mobile in minutes surpassed TV in 2019: 226 minutes for mobile versus 216 minutes for TV. However, the impact of digital TV-based ads aided by in-hand mobile devices remains to be seen.

Table illustrating how TV viewers use phones while watching

YouTube and Instagram are gaining the most online platform time (up 27% and 19% respectively in Q4 2018) and digital video is now up to 28% of average daily watching time.

The report also noted daily hours spent with digital media per adult user in the U.S. increased to more than six hours in 2018, from just under six hours in 2017.

3. On-Demand

Get-it-when-you-want-it products and services increased from about 40 million in 2017 to 56 million in 2018. Online marketplaces are the most popular, followed by transportation, housing, food delivery and health/beauty.

Similarly, on-demand platform workers numbered 6.6 million in 2018, up from 5.4 million in 2017, Meeker added.

4. Visual Communication

Instagram is up to 1 billion monthly active users, and more than 50% of tweet impressions include images, videos or other media.

Meanwhile, we’re seeing visual platform functionality ramp from editing and sharing to data-driven discovery to stories and commerce on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

The number of edited images overall is also growing rapidly. For example, views of user-generated Snap lenses totaled more than 35 billion as of March 2019.

5. Interactive Gaming

There were 2.4 billion interactive game players globally in 2018, which is growth of 6%, versus 5% the year prior. Online game Fortnite had 250 million users as of April 2019—and nearly one major update per week by May 2019, which Meeker said demonstrates innovation is rising across these platforms.

And thanks to multiplayer cross-platform games, along with in-game events and experiences and collaboration with squadmates, Meeker asked if interactive games are the new social networks.

6. Freemium Business Models

Free trials and tiers, like online streaming services, enable more usage, engagement, social sharing and network effects while premium models drive monetization and product innovation, Meeker said.

Pure-play freemium businesses with more than 10 million paid subscribers as of March 2019 include Epic Games, Dropbox and Spotify. In fact, Spotify’s freemium model accounts for 60% of its gross added premium subscribers. These businesses also had more than $1 billion in revenue last year.

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