The Internet Trends Report 2015
By Luc Delany
The Internet Trends Report 2015
5 Jun 2015 - Delany & Co

Mary Meeker, a senior Internet analyst and partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, published her annual report on the Internet at the Code Conference on 27th May. It marked the 20th anniversary of Meeker’s first report. I suggest perusing the report in its entirety here. It makes for fascinating reading.

Here however are the top 6 trends, stats and predictions that really caught my eye:

  • There were 35 million Internet users worldwide in 1995, when Meeker’s first report was published, which was about 0.6% of the total population at the time. Two decades later, in 2014, 2.8 billion users represent 39% of the population.
  • The number of mobile phone users has also exploded in that time, growing from 80 million users in 1995 to 5.2 billion users in 2014.
  • While television advertising is still ahead of online advertising by a pretty hefty margin in the US, advertising spent on mobile only comes in at 8% compared to 23% spent on online opportunities. There is then a major disparity between the two and Meeker calculates this as a $25 billion opportunity in the US.
  • The report notes the increasing on-demand nature of the technology industry. While there has been a lot regulatory focus on online platforms like Airbnb and Uber, the shift to these types of services will only continue as consumers drive this trend by voting with their feet.
  • In 1995, Netscape, the biggest Internet Company at the time, was worth $5.4 billion compared to Apple today which is worth $750 billion.
  • India could be on track to be the next big internet market. It currently has 232 million internet users and is growing at 37% year over year, making it the third biggest Internet market. It tops the list in new user additions too with 63 million new users in 2014.

Having looked at the 2015 report, it seemed like a good idea to have a quick glance at last year’s 2014 report and while we see much of the same – the rise of smartphone, the rise of China (and Asia in general) and the decline of the US – there are still a few notable developments:

  • Mobile data traffic was up 81% year-over-year thanks mainly to video
  • There were still more global TV users (5.5 billion) than mobile phone (5.2 billion).
  • Tinder users ‘swiped’ 800 million times per day, up 21 times year-over-year.
  • China’s mobile Internet users made up 80% of the total number of Internet users in China.
  • Six of top 10 Internet companies made in the US was down from 9 of top 10 last year with more than 86% of their users outside America.

It is staggering to think that in just 20 years, we now have 2.8 billion users on the Internet. During those 20 years, we have witnessed three stages of the internet – the Information Age, Web 2.0 and now the Internet of Things. We’ve already seen self-driving cars, wearable tech and smart kitchens. While social media and mass data collection have connected us in ways most could never have possibly imagined, technology’s next phase will bring an even greater level of connectedness — particularly between humans and machines. Who knows what the next 20 years will bring.


Photo Credit: Tech Cricklets