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How to Speak Intelligently About Mary Meeker’s 355-Page Internet Trends Report

Tech

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You *should* read the whole thing, but here are the highlights.

You saw it. Everyone is passing it around. That one person who has to be #first to everything at work shared it on Slack the second it was published. You know what we’re talking about: Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report, which is “the most anticipated deck of the year.”

“Most anticipated deck of the year” might sound like fairly easy achievement given the competition, but Meeker’s insights, once again, do not disappoint. Meeker leads Kleiner Perkins’ Digital Growth Funds, so she knows a thing or two about what’s going on. She unveiled the 2017 edition of her famed slide-deck at Re/Code’s Code Conference—and it’s a doozy: 355 slides.

While we urge you to check out the full deck in all its glory, we know that this might come up at brunch this weekend, so here’s what you need to know right now.

Global Internet growth has leveled

Internet user growth remained stagnant year over year (10 percent). That doesn’t mean there are the same number of users, but rather that the acceleration of new users has halted for the time being.

Smartphone growth is slowing

In 2016, smartphone shipments grew 10 percent YoY. That figure in 2017? Just 3 percent. As TechCrunch put it: “Everyone who wants or needs a smartphone now has one.”

Adults spend nearly a quarter of their day online

Yep: 5.6 hours, with three of those hours taking place on mobile devices. In 2011, the time per day spent on mobile devices was just one hour, marking a staggering time and attention shift in just six years. Not surprisingly, ad dollars have followed, and 2017 was the first year that mobile ad spend topped desktop spend.

Digital ad spend will soon overtake television

We saw this coming for awhile, but Meeker’s chart underscores just how rapidly and dramatically this shift has unfolded in a little over 20 years.

Google and Facebook absolutely own the online ad landscape

Together, these two juggernauts control 85 percent of growth, per Meeker. Outside of those environments, display ads face mounting challenges: 400 million people worldwide use ad-blockers.

Voice search is on the rise

Amazon leads the pack with 11 million Echo devices sold in the U.S. The chart at right below shows how developers and brands are trying to get ahead of consumer behavior by building out their own Skills for Amazon Alexa.

And while we’re on the subject of Amazon

Amazon’s rapid rise has coincided with financial struggles at nearly every major retailer. Amazon is doubling down on AI and slashing its operations costs, making it difficult for big box retailers to compete. What’s more, consumer behavior has shifted to a more automated, shop-at-home mindset. It will be interesting to see how these trends hold come back to school shopping season, which is right around the corner.

A design awakening?

Organizations are getting smarter about the importance of design and user experience. This chart shows the uptick in resourcing and investment across a few major companies, such as Dropbox and IBM.

VR finds its purpose

Meeker points out that VR is finding its footing as a training tool. Walmart recently announced a partnership with San Francisco-based STRIVR Labs, for example, which uses VR to help facilitate employee trainings around key hard skills.

Holy Netflix!

How’s this for disruption? Since 2010 Netflix has grown 6.7X and today delivers 175 billion (yes billion) minutes of video a month. Meeker also observed that most people are cutting cords because cable is “too expensive.”

China is commanding commerce

On the backs of online powerhouses like Alibaba, commerce in China grew 24 percent YoY, compared to 15 percent in the U.S.

Healthcare is a sector to watch

Meeker called out healthcare and genomics as two areas where technology is pushing innovation at incredible speeds. Wearables and personalized medicine are just two examples in a laundry list of recent triumphs for this sector.

Browse the complete deck here.

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