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KPCB’s Internet Trends 2015 Report Outlines a Bright Future for the Internet

Sean McCarthy
December 15, 2015

If you only read one report on the Internet this year, make it Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015 report.

Mary Meeker, a Partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers (KPCB), has had a hand in Internet trends since she published The Internet Report in 1995. Her Internet Trends report, published annually, is packed with information about how the Internet is growing and how technology is changing our lives.

The Telx team recently spent some time reading the report from cover to cover. You can find some of our many highlights from Meeker’s report below.

At 2.8B globally, Internet users now account for a stunning 39% of the population.

In 1995, considered by most to be the launching point for mainstream Internet usage, the Internet had a mere 35 million users worldwide. Today, there are almost 3 billion users globally. The United States no longer accounts for the majority of Internet users. What’s more, according to the report, there are now a stunning 5.2 billion mobile phone users globally. Mobile Internet usage is expected to continue to grow in popularity worldwide, though the report notes that smartphone subscription growth is “strong, but slowing.”

On average, American adults now spend 5.6 hours with digital media every day.

The time spent per day with digital media has increased significantly among American adults since 2008. Then, it accounted for only 2.7 hours per day, 0.3 of which were on mobile. Today, that number has increased significantly to 5.6 hours per day among adults in the U.S.; mobile digital media consumption now makes up the majority of time spent per adult user at 2.8 hours between home and work.

Enterprise software is transforming the way we work.

The tweet above, cited by Meeker in her report, is indicative of the report’s general take on enterprise software. It is, in a word, transformative. Enterprise software, enabled largely by the Internet, is transforming everything from business communications to customer service and employee training. Enterprise software is only rising in popularity and will continue to shape new ways of working.

Consumption of “just in time” information is on the rise.

An incredible 84% of American cell phone owners have used their phones to get turn-by-turn navigation while driving, and to follow along with breaking news events. At the same time, we’re also seeing a rise in just in time products and services like Uber and Instacart thanks to mobile phones, new sensors, and increased Internet usage.

Cyber attacks are growing bigger and faster.

Unfortunately for enterprises, cyber attacks are growing in size and speed. Meeker cites a lack of skilled experts, adware, insiders with malicious intent, and lost/stolen devices among the many reasons for this rise in scope of cyber attacks around the world.

India looks to be the next frontier for Internet user penetration.

As one final highlight from our team, things are looking very positive for Internet usage in India. Internet user penetration grew significantly in the United States over a period from around 1995 to 2010. China’s Internet user penetration is on the rise as we speak. The next frontier seems to be India, although the companies that will catalyze that growth are not yet clear.

In general, the story told by Mary Meeker in her 2015 report is positive. The number of Internet users continues to grow, the Internet’s impact is just beginning, media consumption is increasing rapidly, enterprise software is transforming work, and mobile Internet usage is bigger now than it’s ever been.

These highlights detail some of what our team found most interesting about the report, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. The entire 2015 Internet Trends report covers 196 pages of analysis on subjects ranging from drones to the Internet of Things. If your business is even tangentially involved in technology, this report is well worth your time.

Have questions about this blog post? Reach out to the Telx team through the contact page of our site, or by Facebook or Twitter.