Update on the Internet versus other forms of media

Derek Thompson provides an update on how people use the Internet in comparison to television and other media:

Eyes move faster than ads. It was true for TV: In 1941, when the first television ads appeared with local baseball games, radio and print dominated the media advertising market. Now it’s true for mobile, which is practically a glass appendage attached to working Americans and commands more attention than radio and print combined, even though it only commands 1/20th of US ad spending. Google and Facebook own the future of mobile advertising, for now. But the present of mobile monetization isn’t ads. It’s apps…The second chart that really struck me from the Meeker report shows the growth of the mobile biz since 2008, which has exploded from $2 billion to $38 billion. I never would have guessed that two-thirds of the mobile business comes from paid apps rather than advertising. It’s an interesting reversal from the desktop ecosystem, where just about every Internet property I use is free and supported with third-party advertising. When you combine this graph (basically: Mobile is an app industry, with a side of ads) and the previous graph (basically: The future of attention is mobile), you begin to see just how important it is for media companies to promote high-quality apps for their stuff…

If you’re wondering why Facebook spent a bajillion dollars on WhatsApp and Instagram (and offered more bajillions to Snapchat), just look at this graph for a split-second. The Internet as you know is essentially a series of tubes optimized for facilitating the distribution of photos. Although Facebook’s share of that photo market isn’t growing, WhatsApp and Snapchat have exploded. This feeds into a larger point that Meeker makes in the presentation, which is that the mobile Internet has been a boon for discrete, simple functions. WhatsApp is simple. Snapchat is simple. Timelines are simple. Simple actions and interfaces are thriving on mobile, more than services like Facebook which offer a more complex suite of functions…

– British people watch the most TV.
– The Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russians spend the most time on desktop computers.
– Nigeria is the most addicted to their smartphones.
– Nobody loves tablets more than the Philippines and Indonesia.

Some fascinating info. The quick rise of the mobile device is truly remarkable but it is worth noting that it hasn’t supplanted television and other media just yet. In fact, perhaps part of its appeal is that it is able to co-opt other forms of media: print, TV, and radio can all migrate to a single smartphone screen.

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