It’s here! Mary Meeker’s report on 2019 Internet Trends. When sharing the report, she stated, “If it feels like we’re all drinking from a data firehose, it’s because we are.” The report focuses on the “impact of the Internet on work (via on-demand services & remote options), education & healthcare.”
Let’s look at the highlights of most use to us as Solo PR Pros.
- There are currently 3.8 billion internet users (just over half the earth’s population).
- 2018 saw a decline in smartphone shipments.
- Internet user growth is slowing (but innovation and competition remain).
- E-Commerce is still gaining on brick and mortar retailers, but the growth is slowing.
- Privacy and overuse are causing Internet and social media users to actively consider their usage.
E-commerce and Online Advertising
- Activity is stable, but growth is slowing.
- The gravitation to mobile from desktop use continues, and ad spend is increasing to meet this development (slide 22).
- Google and Facebook still lead in ad share, with Amazon, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest gaining. This competition is leading to an increase in customer acquisition costs.
“Freemium Business Revolution”
What began in the gaming world is now making its way into the business world. Online streaming (Spotify) and subscription-based retailers like Stitch Fix are among many using a “Freemium” business model, while also providing data-driven and personalized recommendations, to create growth.
As Spotify’s CFO, Barry McCarthy, states: “Our freemium model accounts for ~60% of our gross added premium subscribers…the ad-supported service is a subsidy program that offsets costs of new subscriber acquisition. Developing a better user experience produces by far the most viral effect and impact when investing in growth. Engagement drives conversion from free consumption to paid subscription.”
We see this activity with Google GSuite, Zoom, Dropbox, Slack, SurveyMonkey, Canva, and many more.
This transition is made even more seamless thanks to the increased ease of making online payments. Digital payments now make up 59% of all financial transactions (slide 120).
Privacy Concerns and Their Impact on Advertising
Facebook, GDPR, the new CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) plus changes being made by Facebook and iOS will all impact targeting in advertising.
Digital Media Usage
As the use of mobile over desktop devices increases, so does the amount of time adults spend with digital media. In 2008, adults spent an average of 2.7 hours per day vs. 6.3 hours in 2018 (slide 41). Of that usage, Facebook is still the most used, with 30% of Internet users who check the platform at least once a day. Next highest is YouTube (27%), WhatsApp (25%), We Chat (23%), Instagram (19%), Facebook Messenger (15%), Twitter (11%), Snapchat (5%), Pinterest (4%) and Twitch (2%) (slide 47).
- Facebook Stories viewership grew to 1.5 billion this year (slide 49).
- Since 2008 podcast listenership has grown from 22 million to 70 million monthly active listeners (slide 50)
Voice command (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.) technology, wearables, and on-demand content are all on the rise. We want information and entertainment, and we want it now.
Despite concerns about privacy, consumers have indicated they are willing to provide data in exchange for customer satisfaction (survey results featured on slide 148):
- 91% prefer brands providing personalized offers and recommendations
- 83% are willing to passively share data in exchange for personalized experiences
- 74% are willing to actively share data in exchange for personalized experiences
Frank Bien, CEO, and president of Looker has said, “Data is now fundamental to how people work, and the most successful companies have intelligently integrated it into everyone’s daily workflow… Data is the new application.”
Here’s a category that will elicit a “No kidding!” from every Solo PR Pro. The ability to work and collaborate online is leading to a growth in those working remotely (or, in our world, working). Zapier has seen significant growth in the use of Google Sheets, Slack, Air Table, and Help Scout over the past year (slide 230).
What stood out to you as the most essential item in the 2019 Meeker Report?
This post was written by Michelle Kane, Solo PR Pro Premium Member and Head Honcho of Voice Matters, LLC . Michelle has over 20 years' experience in communications management, writing, public relations, administration, and broadcasting.