Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019

Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019 Highlights for Mobile App Developers

Mary Meeker Internet Trends report is out for 2019. A lot of people in the mobile sector eagerly await their favourite slide deck from Mary Meeker. She is the Bond Capital founder and former Kleiner Perkins general partner.

Mary Meeker first crafted her Internet Trends Report in 1995. Nowadays, the report underlines the most important stats and tech trends for mobile app developers. 

However, with 333 slides, it’s not the easiest thing to digest. So, we don’t blame you for skipping over some of the slides. We bet you are still curious about the key points though!

That’s why the Kumulos team has digested the Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019 report and is bringing you the highlights for mobile app developers and mobile marketers.

Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019 & Mobile Trends Overview

Amongst many things, Meeker highlighted slowed growth in e-commerce sales, increased ad spending, data growth, as well as the rise of freemium subscription business models, telemedicine, photo-sharing, interactive gaming and the on-demand economy.

When it comes to the mobile app industry though, we think these points are worth highlighting from the Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019 report:

  • Mobile usage is growing
  • New types of digital usage are emerging
  • Customer acquisition costs are rising
  • Recommendations are key when it comes to marketing
  • Broad emergence of freemium subscription models
  • App updates are now much more frequent

Mobile usage is growing

For us, at Kumulos, the key takeaway is from the Usage section of the Internet Trends Report 2019. Meeker reports that digital media usage is accelerating. Usage is up 7% compared to 5% year on year. Check out the growth chart below:

The daily hours spent with digital media per adult user, in the USA is increasing. While the percentage of those accessing the internet from a laptop or computer has remained constant, just look at the percentage using mobile.

Mobile is growing year on year and now accounts for almost 60% of usage.

So, for anyone thinking that mobile trends are slowing and that the heat is off the use of mobile and apps to access data, they need to think again.

Also, the fact that smartphone sales are declining, does not mean that there’s a decline in mobile app use. Other industry data backs up the fact that innovation in smartphones is actually encouraging people to hold onto their mobile devices for longer.  Even the millennials are holding onto phones much longer than 5 years ago. As we can see from Mary Meeker’s report, mobile use to access data either through apps, or through a browser is very much still on the increase.

New types of digital usage are emerging

Meeker remarks that global innovation and competition continues to drive product improvements. There are so many new types of usage, especially in areas of digital video, voice and wearables. In fact, she mentions that wearable technology is booming, and users have doubled in the past four years. Again, great news for mobile app developers who are developing apps for wearables too. 

Customer acquisition costs are rising

Interestingly, especially for those in mobile marketing, Mary Meeker reports that there are areas where customer acquisition costs (CAC) may be rising to unsustainable levels. In reality, she sums it up that the CAC can’t exceed lifetime value (LTV) for very long though.  

In other words, raising money is not the goal, but finding a low CAC, high LTV model is the goal. Mobile app developers need to think about creating a sustainable low CAC model. To summarize, make sure you build distribution into your product!

For Kumulos team, the key takeaway from this is driving up LTV.  And, the best way to drive up LTV is to reduce churn.

App developers need to understand why customers churn.  Using an app analytics platform will help you to expose areas within a mobile app that are leaking value. Analytics data can help you plan retention strategies to drive up retention rates. Why this focus on improving retention rates? Because, driving retention rates becomes more critical as CAC continues to rise.

An analytics platform that delivers actionable insights will help you predict when users are prone to churn. And, if you make smart use of smart push messaging technology you can run relevant, effective campaigns to increase engagement and retention.

Recommendations are key when it comes to marketing

This isn’t something new. But the fact that Meeker has highlighted it, is enough to make people pay more attention to getting recommendations. Meeker states:

Effective + Efficient Marketing =

One’s Own Product + Happy Customers + Recommendations

For mobile marketers, this means paying more attention to reviews and responding to those reviews.  Using an App Store Optimization (ASO) platform which allows you to view your Google Play store and Apple App Store listing side by side will help you to quickly see recent reviews. Make sure you respond to reviews and where appropriate optimize the app to ensure better future reviews. If users are not recommending an app because it crashes frequently, it’s time to install a good crash reporting and API endpoint monitoring tool!

Broad emergence of freemium subscription models

There’s no mistaking that free trials and tiers, like online streaming services, enable more app usage.  They also increase engagement and even social sharing.  Whereas premium models drive monetization and product innovation, Meeker mentions that pure-play freemium businesses with more than 10 million paid subscribers as of March 2019 include companies such as Epic Games, Dropbox and Spotify.

The Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019 report tells us more about this broad emergence of freemium businesses at scale. For example, Meeker quotes the success of Spotify whose freemium model accounts for approx 60% of Spotify gross added premium subscribers.

She also quotes Zoom who admit they really want to get customers to test Zoom. They make the freemium product work so well that people are going to pay for the subscription.

For mobile app developers who want to perfect the freemium model, it’s essential to have good app analytics installed in the app to track user behaviour. Tools such as Kumulos allow you to create custom analytics and a whole lot more.  When it comes to getting people to pay for a subscription, the use of targeted push notifications can play a key role.

App updates are now much more frequent

Many mobile app developers, especially games developers are relentlessly in pursuit of greater efficiency, performance and stability for every project on any platform. These software teams are iterating faster thanks to optimizations and automated testing. All of this results in frequent major updates.

Meeker states that there were 2.4 billion interactive game players globally in 2018, which is growth of 6%, versus 5% the year prior. Online game Fortnite had 250 million users as of April 2019. More interestingly, it had nearly one major update per week by May 2019, which Meeker said demonstrates that innovation is rising.

We asked some of our mobile clients what they took as their key takeaway from Mary Meeker’s report.

Kate Vinnedge, Director of Content, NS804, says, “App best practices – as this report corroborates – include frequently updating your app to make sure you’re providing the best UX. From reasons as simple as keeping up with screen resolution changes, to intricate implementations of updated security features, updating your app is necessary to its success.

Vinnedge continues, “In order to correctly and efficiently implement these updates, it’s important to utilize an app analytics tracking platform, so you can target problem areas and capitalize on your strengths. The easiest way to let your users know about new features is through push notifications. Use these as a gentle reminder for your users to take action and download the update, and use this opportunity as a chance to highlight new features waiting for them.”

What about 5G? Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2019 didn’t mention 5G

We think it’s interesting that Meeker didn’t mention 5G.

For sure, Meeker’s report is about the current state of the market and it’s not about future trends.  But, it seems like a glaringly obvious gap in her analysis and we wonder what her thoughts are on 5G? For sure, 5G will revolutionize data access through mobile devices. And, it will accelerate the adoption of smart devices and IoT as more smart enabled devices come on stream.

About Kumulos Mobile APM platform

Kumulos Mobile App Performance Management platform comes with a comprehensive range of services covering the entire life cycle of the app. Its 5 integrated services include app store optimizationanalytics & reportingbackend hostingcrash reporting & endpoint monitoring and its award winning push notifications service, which received awards from Business of Apps, Mobile App Daily and The Tool.

It provides a management console that delivers comprehensive visibility on how the app is performing technically and commercially. It’s easy to setup and there’s no SDK required.

Start monitoring now by signing up for a free trial or book a demo. And, when you’re up and running with your free trial, make sure you download the free Kumulos Companion App to try out the push notifications for real.