Key points from Meeker’s 2018 Technology and Internet Trends Report

Each spring, going back more than ten years, the venture capitalist Mary Meeker has presented a hotly-anticipated report on technology and internet trends. This report provides both a snapshot of the current state and looks to understand the future. Meeker’s presentation is required for anyone who wants to know where digital trends are going – Technology companies, VCs, investors and financial firms all anxiously await the information.

We believe that news organizations should also keep a careful eye on the presentation. It’s a long read, so we’ve identified some key data points from the 2018 report – presented by Meeker at the Recode Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California – that we believe impact the news.

  • Although the growth rate of internet penetration is slowing, digital media usage continues to grow. From 2016 to 2017, the number of hours spent with digital media per adult user increased by 4 percent. (Slide 11)
    • What is your news organization doing to ensure that your audience remembers you in those hours?
  • E-commerce continues to increase as a percentage of all retail sales. (Slide 46) Physical retail sales have ticked up since 2016, but the overall trend is down. (Slide 88)
    • What does this mean for the future of news advertising? News product sales?
  • Spotify focuses on creating the best possible user experience for its subscribers, and uses the promise of an improved experience to convert paid subscriptions. (Slide 82)
    • What can news organizations learn from Spotify’s paid subscription success?
  • Time spent consuming media on mobile has increased (print has held steady; TV and desktop have declined), but there is a large space for ad spend in mobile. (Slide 96)
  • Seventy-nine percent of Americans are “willing to share personal data for clear personal benefit” – more than the 66 percent who are willing to share their data with friends and family (Slide 205)
    • Are you making the benefit of sharing information with you clear to your readers?
  • Worldwide, there are 1 billion daily learning video views. (Slide 234)
    • How can news publishers – with their commitment to informing and educating their audience – take advantage of this desire to learn? What can publishers do to replicate the paid learning model? What is the relationship between learning and staying on top of news?

We’ll keep an eye on these trends, and others referenced in the presentation. The video of Meeker’s presentation on May 30, providing more context for each of these data points, is here.


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