Mary Meeker Sets the Agenda

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report has been published. The long and short of it is that half the world is now connected to the internet by mobile phone, and while mobile phone sales may be saturated and therefore slowing, mobile phone use online is still growing. Most users still have Android devices, although Apple is growing a bit. In the US, mobile phone users spend an average of three hours a day on their phones.

And with this growth in mobile device use finally comes more advertising dollars, Last year, mobile passed desktop in ad spend. But there’s still a discrepancy between the time spent on mobile devices and the number of ad dollars there — a $16 billion opportunity, says Meeker.

Unfortunately for other publishers, Google and Facebook now have 85% of the global online ad spend, up somewhat from last year.

And so is ad blocking, especially in Asia, where 58% of Indonesians and 28% of Indians (as well as 9% of Chinese) opt out of having data collected on them through advertising. The European GDPR (new privacy regulations) may also cause changes, although ad blocking in Germany is mainly on desktop.

But the biggest change from last year is in the presence of better measurement tools from the big players (Google, Facebook, and Snap), who have been pressured to ad better reporting to their offerings. For Google, product listing ads drive traffic to product pages, while contextual ads drive purchases on Facebook,  and goal-based bidding ads work best on Snap.

In addition, geo-targeted local ads drive foot traffic to retail stores.

Here are the types of ads consumers appear to like most:


Meeker says inefficient ads are rapidly being exposed by data. She says it is now possible to get the right ad to the right consumer at the right time. This may be a little futuristic, but it’s certainly what is coming.

The presentation goes on for a long time (355 slides) through gaming, and through changing user interfaces (mostly voice). She also talks about image recognition and how that will become the most important part of search.

Perhaps most important for publishers, she says on slide 50 that the line between ad, content, store, and transaction is blurring, and that the most successful publishers in the future will also be targeted stores.

We are ready with these new formats, in which you swipe up to buy or tap to book right from the ad on the site. And we know that targeted well, consumers like these ads because they’re useful.  Now is a good time to get in touch with us.