10 Key Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2018

Every year, for as long as I can remember, the digital marketing sector has kept an eye out for one statistics report in particular. That report is Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report.

Although heavily US slanted, the report provides an insight into trends across the digital, mobile, social and video spheres that no other report can match. The full quota of 294 slides of the report can be found on Slideshare.

I’m sure plenty of you don’t have the time to plough through 294 slides, so here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the report, which was published at the end of May.

1. Digital Media Usage Continues To Climb

No surprises here, as digital media usage, especially on mobiles, is 4% up on last years report.

Digital Media Usage stats - 2018


2. Time Spent Watching Videos On Mobiles Is On The Up

It’s been on the up for the last few years in fairness, but as Cisco predicted a few years ago, the majority of mobile internet traffic is quickly becoming video based, with YouTube, Snapchat Stories, Insta Stories, Facebook Video and better smartphones all contributing to the consumption growth.

Videos watched on mobile devices continues to rise - Internet Trends stats

3. Recognise the Privacy Paradox

Since GDPR smashed into our inboxes in March, April and May, the chat around privacy has died down substantially, but with the advent of net neutrality in the US, privacy should still be taken seriously. If we stop the flow of user data, does that increase the cost of internet services, even though internet users want it as cheaply as possible? Discuss.

The Internet Privacy Paradox - Mary Meeker


4. E-Commerce As A Percentage Of Retail Sales

In the USA, e-commerce now accounts for 13% of all retail sales, and continues to climb. In the UK, the stats are similar, and in fact e-commerce sales float between 17 – 18% of total retail sales. Our high streets are struggling, but is this partly because bricks and mortar businesses have been slow to adapt to the surging online trend, or are Amazon entirely to blame?

E-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales - US, US - Stats

5. Product Searches Often Start With Amazon

This was a big surprise for me. Usually you’ll find more people looking for information or products will head to Google first, but in this report it shows product finding often starts with a search on Amazon.

Product Searches Retail - 49% Begin on Amazon, not Google


6. Social Media Continues To Drive Product Discovery

This is another stat which is on the rise, thanks to the growth of social media platforms, and the explosion of influencer marketing (and especially influencer advertising). The report shows the share of e-commerce sales attributed to social media in the USA is now up to 6%, a 4% rise from 2015.

Social Media aids product discovery and e-commerce sales - stats

7. Subscription Service Growth

Think about how many subscription service payments come out of your account on a monthly basis. Virgin Media / Sky? Mobile phone? Software tools? How about a payment plan for car servicing? Now think about all those new subscription services booming in the UK. Hello Fresh, Simply Cook, Gaucho, Freddy’s Flowers, and more. Many retailers are moving to subscription based services as it allows a steady stream of revenue, and if the product and service is right, a healthy profit.

Online Subscription Service Growth Revenue - retail stats

8. Fake News Is Leading To A Rise In Accountability

We can’t go any further without mentioning fake news. It has been THE topic of the internet since Trump came to power and the UK voted to leave the EU. Facebook have even launched a TV ad in a bit to persuade people fake news is top of their agenda. If fake news really is the biggest threat to our democracy, then this stat is good news. There have been many brands pulling their ad spend from YouTube because their ads were appearing next to unsavoury content. It’s time the big online players did more.

Fake news internet trends - more accountability

9. Annual Income : Personal Debt Ratio Is Rising

Again this is US specific, but the UK data shows a similar trend. In fact the average UK debt currently sits at £8,000 per person (not including a mortgage), and 6 million Britons fear never being debt-free. It’s a worrying upward spiral, but will banks and finance companies stop lending? Doubt it.

Annual Income to Personal Debt Ratio - US UK Internet Trends

10. ‘Near Me’ Growth

The last key takeaway from the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report for 2018 is search specific. With the continued rise in mobile search queries (and especially voice search queries), Google has seen a 900% increase in searches containing ‘near me’ since 2015. Expect this trend to continue as mobile adoption grows further, and voice search for mobiles and devices flourishes.

Near Me Growth In Search Local Queries - Internet Trends

There we have it! Are their any trends you’ve spotted that should be added to this list, and aren’t in the report? Let us know if the comments below!


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