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Takeaways from the 2018 Internet Trends Report

Written on Jul 31, 2020

In the tech world, few reports are more well-regarded than Mary Meeker’s annual presentation on internet trends and, more broadly, the tech industry. Meeker, a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, presented the KPCB report last week at the 2018 Code Conference.

Here are a few of the biggest takeaways:

  • Half the world’s population is on the internet in 2018, thanks to cheaper Android devices and more readily available Wi-Fi. As TechCrunch points out, that will make it more difficult for growth, as 2017 was the first year smartphone unit shipments did not increase.
  • Interest in cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence is continuing to rise, as leaders like Amazon and Google continue to expand their service offerings, e.g. self-driving cars and brick-and-mortar grocery stores.
  • U.S. tech companies account for 25% of U.S. market capitalization, although they now are all dealing with the aftershock of Facebook’s mishandling of user data and are actively working on providing a more transparent experience, a phenomenon Meeker calls the “privacy paradox.”
  • U.S. adults now spend 5.9 hours a day on digital media, which is up from 5.6 hours in 2016. Much of this time – 3.3 of those hours – is spent on mobile devices, up from 3.1 in 2016. Faster connections are clearing the way for streaming content, like videos and games, i.e. Fortnite.
  • Voice recognition software use grew exponentially in 2017, thanks to the Amazon Echo.
  • “Alexa, how many people have Echos installed in their homes?”
  • “Molly, the answer is 30 million units in 2017, up from 10 million at the end of 2016.”
  • Subscription services are still a hot business, per the examples Meeker cited. In 2017,
    • Netflix grew 25%;
    • The New York Times grew 43%;
    • Spotify grew 48%; and,
    • Peloton grew 173%.

For more takeaways, visit ReCode or TechCrunch now, or, you can view the full 294-slide report here.

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