The emergence of mobile data captured from smartphones and tablets, including location information, calendar details, and specific commands given to apps, such as Apple's Siri digital assistant, is generating a mountain of data that can be used to create more targeted advertising. Marketers are not only tracking consumer preferences but also the precise location of consumers to push more relevant advertisements, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.1
Increased accessibility of wireless connectivity is also leading to the growth of Internet usage. While 2G remains the dominant technology in terms of the number of connections, the proportion has fallen from 90% of total connections in 2008 to 67% in 2013. By 2020, 2G connections will account for only a third of the total connection base, with 3.2 billion 2G connections. The declining proportion of 2G connections reflects the strong growth in 3G and, more recently, 4G connections. This is leading to greater data functionality. 2
Social media is an important driving force for the Internet. Facebook’s average Daily Active Users (DAUs) was 829 million in Q2’14, an increase of 19% year over year. Mobile’s average DAUs was 654 million in Q2’14, an increase of 39% year over year.
Amazon's sales increased year over year by 23% in Q2'14 to US$19.3bn. Changes in currency exchange rates positively impacted net sales by US$237mn in Q2'14 and negatively by US$392mn for Q2'13. North American sales increased 26% in Q2’14. The sales growth reflects increased unit sales (including sales by marketplace sellers) and Amazon Web Services, which instituted several pricing changes. Increased unit sales was largely driven by reduced prices and increased sales in growing categories such as Electronics and Other General Merchandise. International sales increased 18% year over year. Over time it is expected that international sales will represent 50% or more of consolidated net sales. Amazon’s net loss was US$126mn in Q2’14, compared to net loss of US$7mn in Q2’13. The increase in net loss was due to tax provisions.
LinkedIn Corp. reported revenue of US$534mn in Q2'14, an increase of 47% compared to US$364mn in Q2'13. Revenue growth was driven by an increase in demand for their Talent Solutions product. US revenue totaled US$318mn, representing 60% of total revenue in Q2'14. Revenue from international markets totaled US$216mn in Q2'14, a 55% increase year over year and reflecting greater penetration in EMEA and Asia Pacific. Net loss in the second quarter was US$1mn, compared to net income of US$3.7mn in Q2'13. This was due to increased sales and marketing and R&D costs.
Yelp Inc.’s net revenue was US$88.8mn in Q2’14, reflecting 61% growth year over year. Average monthly unique visitors grew 27% year over year to approximately 138 million, and average monthly mobile unique visitors grew 51% year over year to approximately 68 million. Active local business accounts grew 55% year over year to approximately 79,900. Net income in Q2’14 was US$2.7mn or US$0.04 per share compared to a net loss of US$0.9mn or US$(0.01) per share in Q2’13. Yelp expanded their sales force to reach more local businesses, making local advertising more valuable and resulting in the segment’s revenue growing 69% year over year. In addition to the increased number of businesses, there was also an increase in average spend per brand (business).