AMONG the big tech stories last week was the release of the annual Internet trends report of Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. It is a widely anticipated publication, which offers a yearly peek into key global tech trends.

Mobile is of particular interest. Meeker said the growth in Internet users has gone down by 10 percent year-on-year with increase fastest in developing countries, which she said are hardest to monetize. Smartphone subscribers’ growth, on the other hand, remains strong at 20 percent although slowing. Growth is fastest in “underpenetrated

markets” like China, India, Brazil and Indonesia.

The report also indicated an “early stage rapid unit growth” for tablets at 52 percent. The segment is “growing faster than PCs ever did.”

She said that mobile usage growth was still “very strong.” Smartphone users make up for 30 percent of the 5.2 billion mobile phone user base and there is still a large room for growth. This year, mobile browsing accounted for 25 percent of total web usage, which is a rapid increase from the 14 percent recorded last year.

The mobile usage share is highest in Africa, which is now at 38 percent from just 18 percent last year. Next was Asia at 37 percent from last year’s 23 percent.

She also pointed out that mobile was “especially compelling” in monetization and advertising. She said Internet advertising was still strong with a growth of 16 percent. Mobile, on the other hand, grew 47 percent.

Meeker pointed out the huge opportunity in mobile advertising, with the gap between time spent and advertising dollars. She said TV got 45 percent of ad revenues while capturing 38 percent of media consumption time.

Internet got 25 percent of media consumption and 22 percent of advertising dollars.

Print, which she described as “over-indexed,” got 19 percent of ad revenues for five percent of media consumption.

Mobile, on the other hand, only accounted for four percent of advertising revenues despite capturing 20 percent of media consumption time. She said this offered at least $30 billion in revenue opportunities in the US.

With the screen time, she cited this year’s Milward Brown AdReaction study that indicated Philippine consumers spent most media time on smartphones, at 174 minutes, compared with TV (99 minutes), tablet (115 minutes), and laptop and PC (143 minutes).

The report is extensive and covers areas like health care, education and messaging, particularly on the dominance of so-called OTT or over-the-top services. She said people are moving from broadcasting fewer messages to large audiences like Facebook to more frequent exchanges with smaller groups in chat apps likes WhatsApp and Snapchat.

STARTUP WEEKEND. Do you have an idea that you’ve always put off pursuing? Maybe this week’s your chance at making it happen. The annual Startup Weekend Cebu will be held from June 6 to 8 at the University of Cebu-Banilad Campus. Startup weekend is an exciting exercise in tech entrepreneurship where you start with an idea on a Friday night and come up with a prototype to present to judges by Sunday evening.

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