Posts Tagged ‘Predictions and Outlook’

Mary Meeker Speaks

April 26, 2010

Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker  issued her 2010 report on Internet trends.  And we all listen.  She says that we, and by that I mean the world, has entered the fifth major technology cycle, marked by the adoption of the mobile Internet in a big(ger) way. She says that mobile will be bigger than desktop usage in five years, and that 3G coverage has reached at least 20% of all the world’s cellphone users.  AT&T is already seeing the result of the data ramp up, as their lines in NY and SF get clogged up.  Says GigaOm, reporting on her report:

The average cell-phone usage pattern is 70 percent voice, while the average iPhone is 45 percent voice. At NTT DoCoMo, data usage accounts for 90 percent of network traffic. The analyst says her team expects mobile data traffic to increase by almost 4,000 percent by 2014, for a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 100 percent. Such numbers will likely strike fear into the hearts of carriers, but joy into the hearts of equipment suppliers and mobile service companies. (by the way if you feel like going through all 87 of her slides, you can do so on GigaOm’s post).

Here are some of the other trends she sees:

Mobile E-Commerce — mobile will revolutionize e-commerce, forcing both innovations for both online and brick-and-mortar companies. She identifies location-based services, push notifications, transparent pricing, and instant mobile delivery as four potential areas this will occur.

Virtual Goods will be a growth area.

Applications:  Meeker refers to Apple and Facebook as”vibrant developer / application platform ecosystems, ” and suggests that companies will continue to leverage social networks for fans and for revenue.

Video: Meeker’s says that video will outpace VoIP and other resources people seek to access with their mobile devices, and that video is driving the growth in mobile Internet traffic. And speaking of VoIP, if Skype were a carrier, it would be by far the largest in the world. She sees a big future for Google voice, as well.

She also says that people are more willing to pay for content on mobile devices than they are on desktops (good news to Apple’s new content providers), and, marketers take note, personalization is more important on mobile than anywhere else.

As far as social networking is concerned, Facebook is now the largest repository of user-generated content and games, while the main professional repository has yet to be determined. Since people spend more time on social networking sites than on other places (232 billion total minutes in 2009), and the time spent on them is growing rapidly (50% more in 2009 than in 2008), in case you hadn’t figured it out, this is the place to be.

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Another Internet Anniversary Causes Arianna Huffington to Prognosticate

March 19, 2010

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the dot-com designation. 81 per cent of Americans now visit five or more .com sites every day. Over the next three years alone, says Verisign,

“the Internet will see the number of users increase by 500 million to 2.2 billion worldwide, and devices accessing the Internet increase from 1.6 billion devices to 2.7 billion devices. And with the emergence of innovations like smart grids, electronic health care and radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, the Internet and associated technology systems will undergo profound changes in the next decade.”

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, a slew of  tech  and other types of writers and personages attended a conference hosted by VeriSign to talk about the future of the Internet, and Arianna Huffington, one of the attendees, blogged about it, as is her wont.  A lot of it is dreaming, but then, why not?  She envisions an ideal Internet future where a reader can be instantly provided with the “background knowledge needed to better understand the data and information being delivered as news. The powers-that-be — both political and corporate — have mastered the dark art of making information deliberately convoluted and indecipherable. For them, complexity is not a bug, it’s a feature.” Forgive me for maybe being old school, but isn’t that what we are talking about in terms of the future of journalism? She adds more vision to this – “Our future tool will also automatically simplify needlessly complicated laws, contracts, and linguistic smoke screens. So when a politician or Wall Street CEO performs the usual verbal gymnastics in an attempt to befuddle and bamboozle us, his words will immediately be translated into clear and precise language. It will be Truth 2.0.”

And finally, she envisions an app that senses when we have had too much connectivity and need to shut it all off.  This strikes me as unbelievably sad – that anyone has the feeling that we are so connected to the virtual world that we have to be reminded to connect with ourselves.

2010 A Turning Point for the Paywall

January 11, 2010

At the beginning of any year, you can expect to be inundated with trend reports, outlooks and predictions.  In 2010, nowhere is this more prevalent than in journalism where it’s everyone’s guess as to what form the news industry as we now know it will take, how journalists will ever make a living, and indeed, how anybody in the industry will make any money at all.  Ask five people, and you’ll get at least six opinions. Just about everybody agrees, however, that 2010 will mark the turning point that will determine the future of journalism.  A very pithy article in the Irish Times envisions a world where journalists become entrepreneurs and the state funds them.  The nightmare, the article admits, is that losing big media also means losing scrutiny of the state, which could seek to control content.  Almost in retort, comes a tribute from across the pond to “capitalist media barons” in which the Independent claims that “… a powerful alliance of commerce, conscience and intellect is converging around the certainty that such journalism is essential if representative democracy is to endure.”

A bit closer to home, FishbowlNY interviewed Jim Gaines, formerly of several Time publications and currently editor-in-chief of FLYP. MR. Gaines believes that citizen journalism, viewed by many as the bane of journalism, can actually help a story that has been begun by a journalist.

 “A story is going to be the beginning of a conversation and that story will be modified by the conversation that follows. I don’t know exactly what that model is going to look like because the experimentation is only beginning. But it’s very exciting.”

He also believes that the collaboration between a story and its audience is “exactly where advertisers want to be”.  He sees that engagement as the solution to the advertiser/subscriber pay model dilemma.

All of this is, of course, idle and not so idle speculation.  There will be a lot more thrashing and moaning before the settling down begins.

A Really Long Post of My Predictions for 2010

December 18, 2009

There is something inexorable about an idea whose time has come.  There are some ideas that take a very long way around, getting to acceptance.  But the march of technology has brought along with it a speeding up of history – changes that used to take hundreds of years are now occurring with greater rapidity.  There was a time in European history when the Catholic Church reigned supreme.  This reign brought forth the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and other shows of power.  Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Church in 1517 in protest against the sale of papal indulgences, an act that, owing to the recent invention of the printing press, was spread throughout Germany in a matter of weeks, and that sparked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  The church and the heads of European state had so much to gain by the status quo (except for Henry VIII), however, that this idea whose time had come was still being fought over at least until the end of the 30 Years’ War in 1648.  End of history lesson. The point is, that I think that 2010 will be the pivotal year when Old Media, or what’s left of it, will stop fighting the idea whose time has come , the idea that started 10 years ago with the advent of Napster, and hopefully embrace it. I believe that this is the year when the two disparate streams of thought  – “information needs to be free” and “we need to make money” – finally begin to make some sort of peace.   And pay-walls will start to rise. (more…)