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3 Takeaways for Advertisers from Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report

Each Spring, venture capitalist Mary Meeker releases her annual Internet trends report, highlighting the consumer and business trends that will shape the tech and advertising industries in the years to come. This year’s report, which was released at the end of May, draws attention to several trends with important implications for TV and video advertisers. Here are three of Meeker’s key predictions for advertisers.

The most notable takeaway in Meeker’s 2017 report is her continued focus on mobile. There are now close to 3 billion smartphone owners worldwide, a base of mobile users that continues to grow by rates of 10% or more annually. Even more important, consumers are spending more than three hours per day interacting with mobile devices. This compares to just over two hours per day spent with desktops or laptops.

Despite the continued surge in mobile time spent and device ownership, Meeker notes that there’s still a significant gap between consumers’ use of mobile and the money advertisers are investing. Agencies and brands that aren’t already investing heavily in mobile, need to give their media plans a second look. The continued focus on mobile also reemphasizes the need for advertisers to build screen agnostic campaigns that can reach consumers across devices and screens.

The second key trend in Meeker’s annual report is the growing dominance of Facebook and Google. Google’s revenue from advertising grew by more than 20% between 2015 and 2016, while Facebook’s revenue grew by more than 60% during the same period. As a comparison, the average growth rate for other ad industry players was 9%. This should signal to advertisers that many of the buying opportunities, ad product innovations and cross-device targeting opportunities for the foreseeable future will likely involve one of these two industry players, or at the very least will need to take their platforms into account.

Finally, the topic of ad measurement receives significant attention in Meeker’s trend predictions. The growing maturity of measurement tools continues to be a blessing as well as a curse for advertisers. On one hand, the sophistication of measurement tools now available continues to improve, helping advertisers gain greater insight into their campaign ROI and performance. Just look at the targeting and measurement tools now available from Facebook, Google, and Snap, which continue to evolve. Nevertheless, the growing proliferation of ad measurement tools and metrics is also creating confusion for advertisers as the industry has yet to agree on a measurement standard for all media.

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet trends report has become a “crystal ball” of sorts for the advertising industry. Thanks to the roadmap provided by consumers’ media habits, we have a great opportunity to understand how the rapidly evolving worlds of TV and video will likely be impacted.