News & Views
The top trends of 2015 so far

It’s that time of year again; KPCB partner Mary Meeker has released her annual Internet Trends report. Think of it as half ‘State of the Union’ address, half crib sheet for all things digital. And while many of the so-called insights included in the deck actually consist of stuff we’ve been aware of for some time now (did you know teens aren’t crazy about Facebook anymore?), the staggering growth figures across certain networks will no doubt serve as incentive for some brands to explore new spaces. Here are three key trends that show no signs of letting up:

Mobile video


55% of mobile data traffic now stems from video, aided by platforms like Facebook and Snapchat. Facebook gets an average of 4 billion daily video views, 75% of which are on mobile. Meanwhile, mobile app Snapchat generates 2 billion video views every day, with big events like Coachella drawing up to 40 million views.

That isn’t to say we should entirely discount desktop video channels, like video game streaming site Twitch, which has 100 million monthly users (an increase of 122% on last year), and is attracting up to 1 million viewers at a time.

Mobile advertising

The mobile ad industry has grown by 34% in the last year, compared to desktop advertising which only grew by 11%. However, while mobile accounts for 24% of overall time spent with media, it only gets 8% of advertising spend.

As we noted back in April, vertical video is kind of a big deal now, with 29% of daily media consumption happening on smartphone screens, compared to only 5% five years ago. Snapchat has even gone so far as to say that users are nine times more likely to watch a vertical ad spot to the end than horizontal ads. Four new mobile ad ‘styles’ covered in the report are Pinterest’s Cinematic Pins, 5 second ad clips on Vessel, Facebook’s Carousel, and Google Local Inventory.

The on-demand economy

Sharing economy platforms continue to flourish. Uber now has more than a million drivers worldwide, that’s six times as many as last year. Airbnb has now hosted 35 million travellers; 25 million of whom all made their bookings in the last twelve months. Even Etsy’s number of sellers is now up 26% to 1.4 million, although the average merchant only makes $1,400 a year. So maybe they shouldn’t give up their day jobs just yet.

Some other takeaways:

  • eCommerce represents 9% of retail sales revenue, with $300 billion spent last year.
  • China could be about to experience a digital content gold rush thanks to apps like WeChat.
  • Major social networks might want to keep their eye on India, as increasing connectivity opens it up as a marketplace.

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