The most important learnings from the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report 2017

At the end of May this year, Kleiner Perkins published the Internet Trends Report for 2017. An incredibly detailed study of the changing digital landscape, the presentation comprised 355 slides covering everything from Chinese streaming habits (slide 210) to the rise of virtual reality — and what this means for athletes in training (slide 120). For the millions of businesses operating in the new digital economy, the report contains some solid-gold insight into how this marketplace is evolving. To make it a little more digestible, I’ve detailed my key takeaways here.

Internet Growth Is not Slowing Down

The first key learning is one that might not come as a huge surprise: the Internet continues to grow. According to the report, 3.4 billion of us are wired up and online these days — that’s roughly 1 in 2. And despite year on year growth falling as the number of online users increase, that growth is proving itself to remain remarkably consistent.

It’s Becoming a Mobile-First World

Going hand in hand with the constant growth of the world wide web, smartphone shipments hit almost 1.5 billion in 2016. Android took the majority of the share in this period, securing around 80% of total shipped units. And it should come as no surprise that iOS claimed most of the remaining 20%, making the slice of the pie left for other operating systems smaller than ever before. Overall, this growth propelled the mobile install base to 2.8 billion.

Mobile Growth Powers Online Growth

Another crucial takeaway is the relationship between connectivity and availability. According to Kleiner Perkins, as the number of Internet-ready mobile devices increase across the world, not only does the number of people online increase with it, so does the total amount of time people spend online each day. In fact, over the last eight years, the average American has gone from spending around 2.7 hours per day online, to 5.6 hours. And the most surprising thing? Americans now use their mobile devices more than computers to get in the hours online, spending on average 3.1 hours per day browsing on their mobiles versus 2.2 on a desktop or a laptop.

Due to this Growth, Mobile Advertising Remains Largely Untapped

Another important takeaway for anybody involved in a mobile-first enterprise is the growth of the mobile advertising sector. Since its beginnings in 2010, mobile advertising has come to comprise 50% of all cash spent on Internet-based marketing strategies in the USA. And while this might sound like a lot, people spend so much time on mobile devices that there is actually a spending deficit between the amount of time people spend on smartphones and the percentage of advertising budgets devoted to it. As highlighted in the report, there’s a $16 billion disparity between time spent and ad spend; a $16 billion market that’s waiting to be filled.

Better Advertising Solutions Are Required

The final key takeaway from the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends report is perhaps less surprising: people don’t like ads — especially when they’re displayed on their mobile devices. Today, mobile-first users with an ad-blocker installed now outnumber desktop users by almost 2 to 1. In Indonesia, in fact, 58% of all smartphones have an adblocker installed, whereas only 8% of computers do. The takeaway? The modern way to advertise is not through a flashy banner ad or an annoying pop-up. People want to be sold a product they’re interested in; they want to be informed organically, and they will only accept this information from a publisher they trust.

What Does this Mean for the Future?

If you take one thing away from these learnings, it should be this: The future is going to look a lot different, and you need to start preparing for it now. Businesses need to invest in better, native ad formats, better targeting and better content to continue to sell to this new generation of inter-connected customers. And this is something we’ve been doing at komoot with Sponsored Collections.