Mary Meeker on Internet

WSJ reports on comments made by Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker:

The good news is, this time, revenue and profits are driving the boom, not just excited visions of a wired future. For two years now, Internet companies have mostly posted better-than-expected quarterly results, as growth in e-commerce and online advertising accelerated. In the third quarter, eBay reported 44% year-over-year revenue growth to $806 million. Yahoo’s revenue rose 84% to $655 million and Google’s doubled to $503 million. All reported handsome profits.

At work are rising numbers of Internet users globally and their increasing use of online services, combined with Internet companies’ continuously improving ability to profit, Ms. Meeker said. In fact, Internet companies’ hot competition for consumers and advertisers is creating a virtuous circle, she said. Their feverish innovation is attracting even more users, driving more Internet use and giving their patrons more reason to spend.

Internet company innovation is focused on improving user experiences with simple, quick-to-download Web pages; providing more effective search engines and search-advertising tools; introducing more personalized and targeted content and ads; offering more sophisticated music, video and local content; and improving accessibility to content, whether on mobile devices or PCs, Ms. Meeker said.

“We’ve never had such a long list of [near-term] drivers” behind Internet user and usage — and Internet company — growth, she said. Ms. Meeker predicted 10% to 15% annual global user growth during the next two to four years.

Mary Meeker wrote recently about blogs, syndication and My Yahoo: ” The Internet has become a leading source for news and information over the past decade, but we believe the emerging acceptance (by users and publishers) of Web content syndication services will drive even broader / deeper usage of the Internet as an increasingly relevant news and information medium. We see three factors that are combining to drive momentum: 1) rising usage of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) by content providers as a standard distribution platform for online content; 2) ramp in the creation of blogs and other user-generated content; and 3) Yahoo!s easy-to-use integration of RSS feeds (including blogs) that was rolled out in beta to its distribution channel of 25MM+ My Yahoo! users in late September.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.