Mary Meeker’s 2019 State of the Internet Report

Takeaways for the Online Education Space and Job Market

Mary Meeker recently released her highly anticipated 2019 State of the Internet report. The report was full of general takeaways on internet usage and trends as well as a section specific to online education. This report has been published almost annually since 1995 and consistently contains some great insights for all of us working in the wild world of the internet. Below you will find some general takeaways as well as specific industry findings from the report, links to the presentation at Recode by Vox and a link to the full 300+ slide deck.


Overall Takeaways:


  • There are 3.8 billion internet users globally, this is the first time more than half the world’s population is online.
  • Internet usage is growing at 6% YOY (a solid growth rate but slowing from previous years).
  • For the first time, Americans spent more time on their mobile devices than they did watching TV.
  • Images continue to increase in popularity and importance. More than 50% of all tweets now include images.
  • Large focus on China: Most internet users in the world (800,000,000 or 21% of the world’s total) and the largest opportunity for growth. Mobile data usage in China increased 189% YOY.
  • Internet advertising was seeing solid growth but beginning to see customer acquisition costs rise to “unsustainable levels” in some industries.
  • Quarterly internet advertising revenues from giants Google and Facebook have decelerated with the smaller advertising players (Amazon, Twitter, Snap and Pinterest) gaining market share.
  • Gaming was lauded as both a standout example of the “freemium” model and a potentially significant new social network with increases seen in playing, watching and chatting about games, specifically Fortnite (aka the bane of any boy parent’s existence)
  • “Free trials” continue to be a huge driver of consumers trying new products/services.
  • 88% of TV watchers are “second screening” with a digital device while watching TV.
  • Interesting section on immigration and the founding of top tech companies (slides 259 – 262)


Of particular interest to the education space, there were sections on “work” and “Online Education”.

  • Unemployment continues to be high in the world overall with the US seeing record low numbers.
  • The Consumer Confidence Index, a measure of U.S. consumer optimism in the economy, is high and rising. Currently at 97 versus 65 with a year average of 88.
  • Job openings are at an all-time high and wages are rising.
  • Remote workers in the US are continuing to grow. Now totally about 5% of the workforce compared to 3% last year with online collaboration tools like Google Sheets, Slack and others powering the way.

Undergraduate Education Costs and Student Loan Debt are growing.


Overall, enrollment is slowing but there is a higher percentage taking some or all courses online.


More Top Offline Institutions are increasing their online offerings.


  • Students enrolled in Coursera, Udemy, Lambada, Chegg and other online class providers are increasing.



Bottom line, there is an abundance of jobs available within the US. We have to continue to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities with a focus on outcomes and do so by highlighting the emerging trends within the marketing landscape. It’s an exciting time to be a part of marketing overall and EDU marketing specifically. Let’s seize the day!



Rebecca Streeter, VP of Integrated Marketing


YouTube recording of the presentation:
Full Slide Share: