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Web 2.0: Meeker Outlines Online Growth Trends, While Emphasizing Recession Fears

The outlook for technology companies looks fairly strong for at least the near term, though a the threat of a recession remains a serious threat to it all, said Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker, speaking at Thursday at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco (she does this yearly there). She attempted to define some of the obvious trends – including identifying the current wireless/broadband phase of technology, which followed the desktop, LAN and internet eras, as the “cloud” period – such as the rise of mobile and social nets. We weren’t there, but she helpfully put the full 48-page slide presentation online, which is available here (PDF). Some quick highlights:

— Online advertising grew 26 percent year-over-year, compared to industry grown of 4 percent on average.

— Online music sales were up 107 percent in 2006, making up 11 percent of total music sales — which declined 6 percent to $20 billion in global sales last year.

— Illustrating the consistent gains for online video, YouTube had 206 million uniques worldwide over the past year. Meanwhile, looking at social nets, Facebook had 69 million visitors, a yearly rise of 348 percent. The site was also number seven in terms of minutes consumers spent on it, behind Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, YouTube, MySpace and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) – but Facebook’s rise appears more prounounced.

— China’s public internet company market capitalization has grown 76 percent since 2003 to roughly $50 billion.

One Response to “Web 2.0: Meeker Outlines Online Growth Trends, While Emphasizing Recession Fears”

  1. The Chinese internet industry suffers from two grave risks. Unlike Google, folks like Baidu have yet to demonstrate a healthy and rapidly growing business model. Yet these firms are enjoying astronomical capitalization that is not justifiable based on the free cashflow generated by these businesses. The second risk is that the Chinese government, at some point in future, is going to wake up to the threat that internet poses to their control over the Chinese people. When that happens these stocks will crash to earth.

    So buyers beware.

    Sam Miller
    Walker's Research – A quality supplier of business information