The Most Important Insights From Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report

If you want to understand tech, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends reports are the closest you’ll get to gospel. Today the Kleiner Perkins partner released her hotly anticipated 2015 edition. But at 197 slides, her presentation can be overwhelming. So we’ve broken down Meeker’s knowledge dump to highlight the most critical data points, and added our analysis so you know what you’re looking at.

Click Through To Learn:

    • What tech companies are the biggest

    • How ad dollars are shifting

    • Why messaging is king

    • The rise of video, on-demand, and drones

    • The explosion of content creation

    • And how tech is changing the economy

2.8 Billion People, Or 39% Of The World Population, Is Now On The Internet

Getting the other 5 billion people online has become a huge philanthropic and business opportunity. Facebook’s and Google’s Project Loon aim to open the door to connectivity for the people of the developing world through subsidized access in hopes that they’ll be come loyal users.

The Top Internet Companies Are Platforms: 1. Apple. 2. Google. 3. Alibaba. 4. Facebook. 5. Amazon

The list of top Internet companies is dominated by platforms where third-party developers and merchants bolster value and network effect. Apple and Google’s mobile app stores, Alibaba and Amazon’s commerce marketplaces, and Facebook and Tencent’s socially connected app ecosystems adapt their flexible core platforms to a wide array of use cases.

Government, Healthcare, And Education Are Huge Opportunities

The Internet has already transformed the consumer and business space, where entrepreneurs can build products that meet their needs or solve pain points. Larger, more regulated spaces that are less accessible or comprehensible to the average entrepreneur have seen less Internet-driven innovation, and are essentially sitting ducks for startups.

Internet User Growth +8%, Smartphones +23%, But Both Rates Slowing

India, Brazil, and China are leading the smartphone growth. Mobile-first content and apps built for these rapidly developing markets will likely become big businesses. Startups that work in the US may need to expand quickly to these markets when possible, or face entrenched local competition.

The Average American Adults Spends 5.6 Hours A Day On The Internet

We now spend more time on mobile devices than desktops and laptops. The shift from using the Internet a few times a day for long sessions to many times a day for short sessions will have profound impact on what we consume. Bite-sized content and experiences are becoming favorable.

Mobile Gets Way Less Ad Spend Than It Should

Americans spend 24% of their time on mobile, but the medium only sees 8% of ad spend. As this balances out, businesses that build places to host mobile ads could absorb massive revenue.

Video Viewing Is Growing Fast, Especially In Vertical Portrait Mode

Vertical video ads like Snapchat’s are watched in their entirety 9X more than landscape video ads. That means video content and ad creators need to rethink how they shoot, including fewer long-distance establishing shots and more personal close-ups.

Enterprise Software Now Lets You Do Things Differently, Not Just Faster

Email to Slack, cash registers to Square, paper files and insurance brokers to Zenefits, manual background checks to Checkr’s API. Enterprise is about reinventing a process, not speeding up how it used to work.

Messaging Apps Are The Portal To Mobile

The top apps by usage and number of sessions per day are messaging apps. These apps are where people spend the most of their time on mobile, making them a potential jumping off point for additional services like ecommerce and media consumption.

Network Effect Makes Messaging Apps Hard To Topple

Apps that break away to become 100 million user-plus networks can enjoy sustained success, as it becomes tougher to convince people to try a similar service their friends aren’t already on.

Asia’s Messaging Apps Show US Companies What To Do Next

WeChat and Line pioneered many features now coming to apps like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, including video calls, payments, stickers, and media. More opportunities they’ve proven out exist in commerce, food delivery, taxi services, and development platforms.

User Generated Content Creation Is Exploding

Year-over-year, Pinterest pin creation is up 75%, Twitch video broadcasts are up 83% to over 11 million per month, stories written on Wattpad are up 140%, and Airbnb reviews are up 140%. 65% of Snapchat’s 100 million daily users create content per day. Content platforms have a lot to gain from strong creation tools.

Teenagers Shift From Text To Visual Social Media

American youths age 12 to 24 used less Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn versus last year, while growing their Snapchat and Instagram usage. Only 14% of teens now say Facebook is the most important social network, down from 33% in Spring 2013, while Snapchat has risen to the top for 13% of youths.

You Can Now Get Almost Anything In Under An Hour

Taxis, hot meals, cooking ingredients, groceries, courier delivery, and postage pickup are all available on-demand. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses will be disrupted if they can’t find a way to compete with convenience.

Consumer Drones Are Selling, But Commercial Is The Big Opportunity

The 167% year-over-year increase in consumer drone sales shows lots of hobbyists, photographers, and videographers are getting into the flying gadgets. But top drone companies like DJI and Airware are building out drone systems that can save commercial businesses tons of money by replacing helicopters, planes, satellites, and dangerous human jobs.

Millennials Make Up 44% Of On-Demand Workers

The generation that grew up connected to the Internet has now reached the point that it is about ready to drive the economy. Among the things they value most, Meeker says, are flexible work hours, and cash bonuses, though they still value training and development highest. Those first two should sound a little familiar: most of the on-demand services in the world are popular among workers for that reason.

Online Marketplaces And On-Demand Services Are Popular Part-Time Jobs

Not everyone is using marketplace services as a full-time job. Many use services like Airbnb to supplement their income or pay their mortgage. The flexibility of these services allows people to make money on their terms without having to jump through the hoops of a full-time job, and the actual amount of money they make is not often that small. A typical Airbnb host in NYC earns $7,700 annually, Meeker says, while an average Etsy seller earns $1,400.

Tech Companies Are Both Problems And Solutions For Regulators

With technology innovation rapidly outpacing governmental regulation, there have been flare-ups around the country and world regarding the status of marketplace and on-demand service companies like Airbnb and Uber. But the same was true for Stubhub, a marketplace that “has helped regulators effectively regulate what they had intended to regulate all along.”

China Leads In

In China, innovation isn’t dead — and not even close. Even the government is using services like Tencent to allow Chinese citizens to pay for bills or apply for a passport. The engagement on those services is also through the roof: on Chinese New Years’ Eve, WeChat users sent more than a billion “red envelopes” — gifts with randomized amounts of money — and served more than 200 million views of a documentary on smog in China in three days of its release.

Xiaomi's Rapid Rise To #1 Chinese Smartphone Maker

Now one of the most valuable startups in the world, Xiaomi has gone from a relatively unknown technology company to one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. After taking over a huge chunk of the Chinese market, the company’s turned its sights to new ones like India.

India Becomes A Mobile Business Target

Mobile traffic makes up 65% of total Internet usage in India. So it’s not surprising that large companies like Google and Xiaomi are making huge efforts to create cheaper smartphones that will attract buyers whose first experience on the Internet is on a smartphone.


Despite all this talk of “unicorns” and a growing bubble, public and private financing of technology companies is still only around two thirds of what it was in the dot com bust. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ has hit the same levels of that era, and only around $32 billion has been invested thus far in 2015.