Analyzing 3 of Mary Merker’s Internet Trends for 2018


Mary Meeker, the well-known venture capitalist and heralded “queen of the internet,” released her annual internet trends report to the tech and business communities this month, generating as usual a great amount of interest and chatter. This year’s 294-slide presentation touches on everything from data optimization to smart speakers to China.

Meeker, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), covers many macro trends in her presentation, but what if someone on your team wants to know more? eMarketer is here to help. We chose six key areas where our data and qualitative research go deeper and can offer more clarity.

Here’s a look at what eMarketer can tell you about mobile (usage and ad spending), voice, healthcare, ecommerce and China in 2018. eMarketer PRO subscribers can access the full reports and forecasts through the links below. .

  • No. 1. Mobile is driving digital media usage

Meeker’s internet trends report: Digital media usage in the US grew 4% in 2017 to 5.9 hours per day. Mobile was the main driver of growth, accounting for 3.3 hours of daily digital time. (Slide 11, citing eMarketer forecasts)

eMarketer breakdown: So where and how are consumers spending their mobile device time? In eMarketer’s forecast of mobile time spent in the US for 2018, smartphones were the big story, with an emphasis on those with larger screens. Likely because smartphones are getting bigger and better, tablet usage is declining, and growth in time spent entered negative territory for the first time in 2017.

Audio took up the biggest chunk of mobile app time in 2017, at 45.7 minutes (about 30% of the total). Social followed close behind with 36.6 minutes, or just under a quarter of app time. Despite the post-Cambridge Analytica #DeleteFacebook movement, eMarketer predicts that mobile time spent with Facebook will not see a decrease.

  • No. 2. Voice is primed for takeoff

Meeker’s internet trends report: Google’s word accuracy rate hit 95% last year, but the Amazon Echo still dominates the smart speaker market, with an installed base of a little over 30 million in the US at the end of 2017. (Slides 25 and 26)

eMarketer breakdown: Partly thanks to the increasing accuracy Meeker highlighted, smart speakers are being rapidly adopted, and eMarketer’s latest forecast predicts that the number of US smart speaker users will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.9% between 2016 and 2020. Not since the smartphone have we seen such fast adoption. As illustrated below, 22.9% of the population will be using some kind of smart speaker by 2020.


Right now, the smart speaker user base in the US is dominated by your typical early tech-adopter: the affluent, older millennial male. We predict a shift in user demographics toward kids and Gen X moms of young children. Amazon is seeing this too, and debuted a kids version of the Echo this April.

Amazon beat Google to the voice tech starting line and will continue to hold onto its majority market share through 2020. Despite its slow start, Google will begin to eat into the market as adoption of the Google Home picks up.

  • No. 3. Consumers want bang for their buck(s) from healthcare providers

Meeker’s internet trends report: People in the US are spending more on healthcare, and are starting to develop expectations for modern retail experiences, on-demand care, and digitized and transparent care management. Meeker also poses the question of whether increased consumer attention to value and prices, along with market forces, will finally force healthcare providers to bring prices down. (Slides 137 through 139)

eMarketer insight: To answer Meeker’s question, yes, we believe that healthcare industry stakeholders know that skyrocketing costs need to be brought back down to earth, and that the current fee-for-service model isn’t sustainable. In a search for efficiency, they are by and large turning to technology.

The first “beyond-the-pill” innovations widely adopted by physicians and consumers have been mobile wellness apps and fitness trackers. Beyond that, the internet of things (IoT), in the form of a network of devices, sensors, electronic health records, smart devices, ingestibles and implantables, will be the next innovation.

Data will also play a huge role, with advancing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities opening doors to new treatments and ways to address patients needs.

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