This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of the Internet economy. Volume 2 of this report provides an insight and analysis into the trends and developments taking place in the revived Internet economy. It includes information and statistics on the Internet industry, beginning with an historical look at Internet growth. Information and statistics on Internet hosts, domain names, the World Wide Web, search engines, websites, the ISP market, Internet users and penetration is also provided. An overview of some of the key online online services such as adult entertainment, dating, e-education, online financial services, e-government, mapping and online music is also incorporated. Covered in more detail are the sectors of ehealth, online gambling/gaming and virtual worlds. Also provided is technical information on web development related to Web 2.0. Please note that Social networking, UGC and online video media are covered BuddeComm’s other publication: 2007 Global Internet - Volume 1 - Web 2.0 Revives Internet Economy.
Subjects covered include:
The emergence of the next generation of Internet technology and applications has led to the coining of the term Web 2.0, to indicate that the Internet now has more capabilities than ever before. The Internet Media companies such as Google, News Corp and Yahoo are just some of the leaders taking advantage of this with the introduction of new services and applications. This revival of the Internet has also led in part to the re-emergence of the Internet economy, and more specifically e-commerce. The increase in broadband connections is another factor that has led to this revival.
Revenue from the large range of content and services available from the Internet is rapidly increasing globally; travel, gambling, adult content, music and health services are particularly popular and social networking services are flourishing. For more information, see chapter 2.1, page 21.
By 2010 it is estimated that over $2 billion will be spent on social network advertising in the US alone. The Internet economy is increasingly relying on the underlying Internet infrastructure for its success, and this has also opened up a range of new support functions for ISPs and BSPs, with some already beginning to diversify their operations.
New video applications have also emerged as the Internet media companies seek to exploit the added speed and capacity of broadband infrastructure. This will result in a whole range of applications continuing to enter the market over the next decade. As can already be observed, the killer application on these networks is video based communication, nearly half of which is produced by users themselves. Commercial video entertainment will eventually account for only a quarter of these services. Sites that started as social networks, such as Facebook, are also expanding into video based services in order to compete. As commercial websites try and enter this space, there is no sign of this growth abating.
Web 2.0 technologies have shifted the consumer’s web experience to interactive and collaborative applications which a growing number of people can access and contribute to. Online payment gateways such as PayPal have facilitated consumer use of e-commerce, facilitating services coming to market. The success of social networking and sites based on UGC clearly shows that the ‘consumer-led’ era has begun and this heralds the end of those with vested interests being able to control what they present to their users. In future consumers will be not only be able to actively participate; they will also be in a position to challenge the way things have been done in the past and expose failures and misconduct.
A key to success in this new era of digital media revolves around advertising and the ability to attract new revenues. We are now seeing the emergence of new business models as the industry gains confidence and begin to change their more traditional models. Driving this confidence is the phenomenal growth in online advertising revenues. It is estimated that over $25 billion dollars will be spent worldwide on online advertising this year.
E-health is also rapidly shaping up as one of the key killer apps on the truly high-speed broadband networks. Around the western world we are facing a massive dilemma in relation to healthcare. New technologies are increasing life expectations and improving our lifestyle. The cost of this however is enormous, and we simply can no longer afford to finance these huge advances through the public health systems. In countries with proper broadband infrastructure we see e-health shaping up as a way that will allow us to enjoy these advances in medical technology and medical services, at a more affordable cost. For more information, see chapter 2.2, page 28.
The Internet has joined the road and rail networks, the postal system and the global telephone network as a vital communications system in developed countries. The principle known as Network Neutrality allows Internet users to access any web content or applications they choose, without restriction or limitation. This is taken for granted by the billions of people who access the Internet worldwide. However a concerning precedent is taking place in the US, where carriers would like to be able to charge for tiered network service - and it will have global implications if it succeeds. However despite the importance of the issue, it may be some time yet before the US government determines the country’s net neutrality path.
Volume 2 of this report provides an insight and analysis into the trends and developments taking place in the revived Internet economy. It includes information and statistics on the Internet industry, beginning with an historical look at Internet growth. Information and statistics on Internet hosts, domain names, the World Wide Web, search engines, websites, the ISP market, Internet users and penetration is also provided. An overview of some of the key online online services such as adult entertainment, dating, e-education, online financial services, e-government, mapping and online music is also incorporated. Covered in more detail are the sectors of ehealth, online gambling/gaming and virtual worlds. Also provided is technical information on web development related to Web 2.0. More detailed information on social networking, UGC and online video media can be found in BuddeComm’s other publication: 2007 Global Internet - Volume 1 - Web 2.0 Revives Internet Economy.
There are now around 100 million websites in existence worldwide and around 16% of the population is online - leaving room for more growth ahead which will be assisted by mobile applications. For more information, see chapter 1.1, page 1.
Travel is the largest category of online spending and one of the most competitive markets on the Internet.
The future of the music industry lies in online/digital distribution. Around 10% of all worldwide music sales are now purchased through digital channels; this is expected to climb to around 25% by 2010.
Worldwide online music revenue - 2007; 2012
Year Revenue ($ billion)
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data, 2007)
Online virtual worlds are just one example of the developments occurring as part of the Web 2.0 evolution, and the number of virtual worlds in existence is doubling every two years. For more information, see chapter 2.4, page 47.
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