Australian Smartphone and Tablet Data / Mobile Trends

Need to Know – Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Tech and Digital Industry analyst Mary Meeker delivers an annual Internet Trends report that is eagerly awaited by analysts and journalists globally. The report pulls together an enormous amount of reliable data from a variety of sources, as well as Meeker’s own observations about the digitally connected universe. While it is U.S centric, it takes a global view and provides insights into what the global community can expect to see across the digital landscape in the coming years. As has been the case in recent years, Meeker’s report places a great deal of focus on the rise of mobile devices, technology and content in transforming global communications and interaction. The report sets out the size of the market globally and then moves onto trends in technology and consumer attitudes, delving into the ways technology has begun to re-imagine our daily lives.

Mobile Usage in Australia

Setting out the size of the market, Meeker highlights Mobile usage as a percentage of total web usage, which is rising globally. In Oceania mobile usage is now at 17%, up from 12% last year. Australia is comparable with North & South America and Europe for mobile usage, whereas Asia and Africa have extremely high usage as many of the developing countries in these areas have skipped the PC age and leapfrogged straight to personal mobile devices as the main connection point to the Internet. Slide 9 Mobile Usage Australian readers can find some specific references in the latest report, where we are highlighted for the depth of our smartphone penetration. Although Australia does not make it into the top 15 Internet markets (in terms of number of connected users) we have the 9th highest number of smartphone subscriptions in the world – at 19 million. Australians are an advanced market in terms of our mobile literacy. On a global scale, there are only 3 countries with a greater smartphone penetration than Australia’s 85% . They are Sweden (94%) Saudi Arabia (110%) and the UAE (160%).

Mobile Advertising is massively undervalued

Globally, Mobile Advertising is at 11% of Internet Advertising. This compares to around 4% in Australia, so we have a fair amount of upside ahead of us. Meeker clearly illustrates the gap between time spent on mobile versus ad dollars invested. Based on a US audience, we can see that advertisers are throwing 19% of dollars into print which is only attracting 5% of audience time. Conversely, 20% of time is spent on mobile, while only 4% of ad dollars are being invested. Knowing what we know about how ad dollars follow audiences, it’s only a matter of time before this is corrected. Slide 15 Mobile Under Indexed

What will be 10 times bigger than mobile?

Another interesting observation from Meeker is the fact that each new computing cycle leads to an installed base ten times larger than the previous. Meeker describes the PC as one computing cycle, following on from mainframes and microcomputers. From PCs we moved into the broader Desktop Internet cycle and finally we are now within the Mobile internet cycle. Within Mobile Internet she includes smartphones, tablets, and other specific mobile devices like eReaders, and mp3 players. It raises the interesting question of what we can expect next? What comes after the mobile Internet that will have 10 times the penetration? Wearables? Sensors? Microchip implants?? Slide 11 Computing Cycles

The Internet Trifecta of Context, Content and Commerce

Of interest to local retailers, banks and advertisers is the critical mass of context, content and commerce that Meeker describes as the Internet Trifecta. What this enables is a level of transactional engagement that has remained elusive until now. We have sought to know enough about consumers to deliver the information and content they need to make decisions. We have then worked to provide them with that targeted information and content. Finally, we can facilitate immediate, convenient and reliable transactions. Reaching critical mass of these three capabilities is largely due to mobile devices which support a deeper understanding of context, targeted, personalized content and immediate and secure financial transactions. The internet trifecta of context, content and commerce is now possible and available and the critical mass will allow a massive upsurge in transactional behaviour using mobile devices.

Sensors will change everything

What Meeker calls the biggest ‘re-imagination of all’ is the use of Sensors in the digital landscape. Sensors to detect proximity, ambient light, direction, movement, heart rate, air pressure and even fingerprints are already in most new smartphones, with sensor capability being embedded in consumer electronics across multiple categories, such as wearables, headsets, cameras and gaming devices. Slide 67 Sensors Devices and sensors are creating enormous amounts of data about the world we live in, presenting new challenges for data analytics and mining. The opportunity is to use pattern-driven problem solving and new interfaces to make all that data usable.   Meeker cites consumer and commercial applications for all that data, like Jawbone that tracks health and fitness data, Nest that tracks energy usage in your home and services that track car movement, wealth investment, government financials and more.


Last year Meeker’s presentation included a large component of re-imagining. Meeker identified numerous daily activities that have been re-imagined by digital change-makers, with radical new approaches to every day tasks now a reality. Everything from catching up on news to staying in touch with friends has been re-imagined online. This year Meeker again highlighted the way businesses like Yelp, Uber, AirBnB and Spotify have re-imagined our approach to doing business, booking taxis, going on holiday, listening to music and even changing the channel on TV. Other Key Points of Interest to mobile marketers: The power and speed of social distribution. An article reaches half its social referrals within less than 9 hours and nearly 30% of global referrals are from 3 social media services (Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter). The growth of messaging. Particularly in terms of more frequent and deep interactions with smaller groups of contacts rather than the kind of broadcast messages to a wide audience that we see on Facebook. A shift towards single purpose apps. We saw multipurpose web sites become multi purpose mobile sites. Now we are seeing more targeted app development to meet specific needs, often with the app as a service layer, designed to do a specific job in the background, informed by contextual signals like location, usage patterns or sensors.

Screen Proliferation and Multi-Screen Use

Screen proliferation and multi device usage was a big focus area of this year’s report. Meeker identifies that TV channels are becoming apps and the TV is evolving from a directory to an app and search based medium. As a result there has been proliferation of services, youTube channels and sources of video content. Consumers expect to watch content on their own terms. In addition, device owners are using their smartphones and tablets while the TV is on. This means they are consuming multiple streams of data in parallel, with screen time increasing the more screens a consumer uses. 5 hours of screen time no longer means only 5 hours of content (or advertising). At what point do consumers reach content saturation. Could 5 hours equal 7 hours? 10 hours? Finally, more short form content has led to different ad models such as YouTube’s cost per view ads that are only charged when they’re not skipped. Consumers are in control and advertisers get better value for money. Trends definitely point to allowing consumers to have ore control over their screen experience, particularly in terms of promotional messages. Consumers are no longer passive. They are fans, engaging with their chosen content, voting and connecting around social media. Advertisers are turning to social networks like Twitter to connect with customers as they consume content across multiple screens.

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2014

Below is the report itself, all 164 slides of it.  Or you can try this summary report from Techcrunch that flips through the main ideas in only 54 slides! You can also find a a brief snapshot of some of the key points in the presentation, check out the SMH story.   Or perhaps you’d like to see how a great web designer could improve on the (let’s face it, very ugly) layout of the famous Meeker Report!



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