Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ComScore 2008 Digital Year report (click here) and excerpts from Akamai analyst call

Comscore recently released a report detailing digital media usage for '08, and thoughts for '09. As video is a big part of it, I have also included highlights from today's Akamai analyst call:

1. 2008 e-commerce spending of $214B increased 7% over '07. All metrics were positive going into Q4, which ended with Nov/Dec each down 3%. Travel continues as the largest commerce category ($84B).

2. The fastest growing categories were Video +29%, Home/Garden +25% and Sport/fitness +25%

3. Notable site performance; Facebook +57%, Wordpress +67%, Mozilla +40%

4. Video is rocking; 6% more people viewed 34% more videos last year than prior period. Online video now accounts for 12.5% of all time on the internet (up 50% in the last year). YouTube leads all video sites, with a 40% market share, and growing more than 50% faster than the market. Facilitated by near ubiquitous broadband access, legal streaming and better displays, a pronounced trend is emerging towards long-form viewing, led by Hulu, which is now the #6 video site. Moreover, Hulu had an average of 12 minutes view/video, which is nearly 4x that of today's other leading video sites. From the Akamai call, management sees television moving to delivery over IP. Today, internet provisioned video to the home serves the 3rd or 4th TV in the house, but they inevitably see it coming to the primary screen. For the big screen, quality of the viewing experience matters.

I am not sure that '09 will be the year it crosses to the mainstream, but definitely sees signs that it's coming. Per my son, " this is going to kill MTV". Quite fittingly, as we are at the beginning of another paradigm shift, here is the first video played on MTV.

5. Smartphone internet browsing soared 34%. Led by a 43% rise of 3G phones, coupled with flat rate pricing, this trend should accelerate as the full-year impact of 3G iPhones, Blackberry's and Androids are felt.

These trends continue to bode well for cloud based applications that are built for universal access (any device/anywhere). The continued explosion of alternative viewing channels will place a premium on developing a familiar way to organize and search/discover desired content. Also, during platform shifts people are constantly trying new things. Of course, many monetization and user experiences need to be worked out. In any event, these should be wonderful areas for young companies to exploit vibrant and growing markets.

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