Those who stay tapped into what’s happening on the internet know well the name Mary Meeker. Every year, she publishes an in-depth report on trends that we need to pay attention to. You may not have been as eager as me to dig through the 300+ slides in the 2017 report, so I have extracted 14 things that you should know right now.
1. Smartphone sales are slowing slightly
Meeker points to two indicators that indicate a slowdown in the smartphone market:
- In 2016, 7% fewer smartphones were shipped globally than in 2015.
- The number of installed bases for smartphones, which indicates how many are in use rather than being sold, dropped from 25% in 2015 to 12% in 2016.
We might suppose that people are keeping their smartphones longer, or that now just about everyone has a smartphone, so sales are slowing.
2. We are using our mobile devices to spend more time online than in the past
In 2015 we spent, on average, 5.4 hours online on a mobile device, while in 2016 we spent 5.6 hours. The reason for this slight increase might be that mobile users are more accustomed to using their devices for internet searches, as well as the prevalence of voice-recognition technology.
3. Advertising is making the move to mobile
Marketers want to be where we are, and we are on our mobile devices: 2016 saw mobile ad revenue grow by 22%, passing desktop ad revenue as it climbed. As advertisers find more ways to engage viewers through videos and interactive advertising on search engines as well as social media, this will likely increase.
4. Internet ad revenue is king
Here’s a remarkable fact from Meeker’s deck: Internet ad revenue has at long last surpassed TV ad revenue in America. We’ve seen some really interesting ad formats that have contributed to internet ads’ success, such as native advertising, responsive ads, and video ads.
5. Google and Facebook are the reigning rules
Facebook increased its advertising revenue by a whopping 62%, while Google saw a nice 20% growth. Other advertising publishers experienced 9% growth.
Facebook may have had the highest year-on-year ad revenue growth, but Google still leads the pack with its $35 billion dollars in advertising revenue in 2016.
6. Ad blocking is a new threat to advertisers
Consumers don’t like to be annoyed by ads, and are using ad blocking software more than ever, especially in developing nations. This presents a challenge for advertisers as they struggle to find ways to get people to deliberately interact with their content.
7. Incentive-based and skippable video ads aren’t a bad thing
With television commercials, we’ve mastered the art of taking a bathroom break during ad spots. Advertisers have successfully circumvented the same issue with online video ads by offering skippable pre-roll, social click-to-play, and mobile app rewards, all of which are positively received by consumers.
8. The ROI challenge continues
Measuring return on investment has long been a challenge for online marketers, and it still is. In fact, 61% of marketers identified this as a current challenge.