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Market analysis

The Internet of Things is expected to evolve from a niche area into a mainstream activity in the next three years. According to Gartner, organisations should seriously start investigations and initiate pilot projects to exploit upcoming opportunities.

In 2009, there were about 2.5 billion devices with unique IP addresses connected to the Internet. Most of these were devices people carry such as cell phones and PCs. By 2020, it is expected that there will be up to 30 billion devices connected with unique IP addresses, most of which will be products. According to Gartner, the total economic value add for the Internet of Things by 2020, will be around US$1.9tn dollars. This is expected to create a new economy, benefiting a wide range of industries, such as healthcare, retail, utilities and transportation.1

US adults spend an average of 34 hours per month using the mobile Internet on smartphones, while time spent on the PC Internet by them is 27 hours according to Nielsen. Of the smartphone Internet time, applications capture approximately 86% of usage, while around 14% of the smartphone Internet access time is used via the mobile Web. According to the release, social media are used daily by around 64% of US adults (on the PC); and around 47% of smartphone owners use social media daily on their smartphones.2

Worldwide business-to-consumer eCommerce sales is expected to increase by 20% in 2014, reaching US$1.5tn according to eMarketer’s forecasts. Growth is expected primarily from the rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in mCommerce sales, advancing shipping and payment options and the push into new international markets by major brands.3

Amazon’s net sales increased 20% to US$25.59bn in Q4'13, compared with US$21.27 bn in Q4’12. Excluding US$258mn unfavourable impact from YoY changes in foreign exchange rates, net sales grew 22% compared with Q4’12. Seasonal effect continued in Q4'13, with net sales increasing by 50% (QoQ) against an increase of 54% in Q4’12 and 60% in Q4’11. YoY net sales increases in FY 2013 and FY 2012 were 22% and 27% respectively. The North American region was the main contributor, with both net sales and operating expense increasing by 26% as compared to Q4’12. In Q4'13 the Electronics and Other General Merchandise segment (representing 67% of total revenue in Q4'13) increased by 23% as compared to Q4’12.

LinkedIn’s revenue in Q4'13 was US$447.2mn, an increase of 47% compared to US$303.6mn in Q4'12. Revenue from Talent Solutions products totaled US$245.6mn, an increase of 53% compared to Q4'12. Talent Solutions represented 55% of total revenue in Q4'13, compared to 53% in Q4'12. Revenue from Marketing Solutions products (representing 25% of total revenue in Q4'13) increased 36% and revenue from Premium Subscriptions products (representing 20% of total revenue in Q4'13) increased 48% compared to Q4'12. Driven by strong sales, LinkedIn’s YoY revenue increased by 57% and 86% in FY 2013 and FY 2012 respectively.

Yelp’s net revenue was US$70.7mn in Q4'13, reflecting 72% growth from Q4'12. Its net revenue for FY 2013 was US$233.0mn, an increase of 69% compared to US$137.6mn in FY 2012. Net loss for FY 2013 was US$10.1mn, or US$0.15 per share, compared to a net loss of US$19.1mn, or US$0.35 per share for FY 2012. In FY 2013, Yelp’s cumulative reviews grew 47% YoY to approximately 53 million, while its average monthly unique visitors and active local business accounts grew by 39% and 69% YoY respectively.

  1. InformationWeek, Gartner , February 2014
  2. Marketing Land, Nielsen , February 2014
  3. eMarketer , February 2014
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Mark McCaffrey
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