India internet market only bright spot globally: Mary Meeker Report

BENGALURU (TIP): Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist and internet guru, famous for her seminal predictions made annually through her info-packed reports on the state of the internet, said India is the only market which is seeing internet users grow as opposed to other countries. Meeker, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse, Kleiner Perkins said India internet user base increased 40% against 33% from a year ago while all other major markets like US and China stagnated.

Meeker while releasing her trademark report ‘Internet Trends 2016’ at tech portal Recode’s Code conference said India had 277 million internet users with a 22%penetration. The presentation also pointed out that India has pipped US in terms of internet user base and now trails behind only China. India had a user penetration of about 22%. China reached 668 million internet users with a growth of only 6% last year compared to 7% growth a year ago. While India’s internet user base had grown 33% in 2014 and it is the only country to have witnessed accelerated growth last year.

Contrast that to the global internet user base which grew only 9% in 2015 reaching 3 billion. “New internet users are going to be harder to find,” Meeker, said while presenting the report. The other big theme, in Meeker’s report was the slowdown in smartphone shipments globally with just 10%growth down from 28%. Asia-Pacific is the largest contributor in terms of global users of smartphones with a 52% share inching up from 34% in 2008. In terms of smartphone cost, India clocked the lowest average per unit at $158.

Meeker said that video ads online seem to be ineffective as majority of them, as much as 81%, mute those video ads while 93% consider using ad blocking software, the report even as internet advertising grew 20% to $60 billion in US.

In terms of most consumed apps, the report mentioned that people on an average install over a dozen apps on their smartphones, but significantly, 80% of their time is consumed by three apps. For example, Facebook, Chrome and YouTube are the top three apps in US but globally it is Facebook, WhatsApp and Chrome.

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Messaging apps are also continuously growing with more expressive form of communication than simple text exchanges which is largely dominated by Whatsapp, Facebook and WeChat, Meeker’s report posited.

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