THE NET EFFECT: Introduction

The information technology industry cele-brates 25 years of the

personal computer this year. While the number of PCs continues to

multiply each year, the number of personal computing devices really

exploded in the past seven years since the mass adoption of the

internet. Because of the global internet growth, there has been an

exponential increase in the penetration of digital devices into the

consumer space, as well as into the corporate marketplace.



But even with all the growth that the industry has seen, the best is yet

to come. This decade is truly a "digital decade", with digital and

information technology influencing consumers, corporations and

governments.



Consumer demand for the internet continues to grow as it becomes truly

integrated into their daily lives. Infrastructure improvements also

continue to fuel growth: for example, in the mobile devices world,

within the next few years (if not already in many parts of Europe and

Asia), data traffic on wireless devices will exceed that of voice. The

growth of mobile internet will be driven by mobile commerce applications

and universal messaging.



Entertainment and digital broadband is around the corner with 3G

networks that are rapidly being deployed around the world. Similarly,

broadband infrastructure continues to improve. Whether it is DSL, cable,

or satellite delivery, consumers stand to benefit.



We are also seeing rapid development of services and applications on the

internet that's truly changing consumer behaviour. Sectors, such as

financial services, travel, e-commerce and information retrieval, have

been fundamentally enhanced by consumers' access to the internet. With

improved bandwidth and emphasis on personalisation, web-based services

will grow even more entertaining, rich and integrated in people's

lives.



Online advertising is still in its nascent stages. The industry is now

focused on measurement and true return, and the scale and data that

internet advertising can offer is starting to turn significant dollars

from traditional media on to the internet. Increasingly, the online

advertising value is proving itself in allowing companies to build

brands, do better research and market directly to users.



As the markets continue to become more global, and

communication/entertainment media continue to become more fragmented,

the internet becomes a key medium for marketers to reach consumers and

customers. The internet provides an unprecedented way to understand and

evaluate a consumer's behaviour, and through advanced marketing

solutions, it is rapidly becoming a core component of anyone's marketing

plans.



Yahoo! remains a unique, powerful, global platform, and I'm proud that

we remain the number one global internet brand. With the emergence of

new platforms, such as internet-enabled phones and access via TV,

penetration will drive usage beyond desktop PCs. The evolving technology

will give birth to a whole new generation of mobile and personal

communications devices. Wherever technological advancements take us, we

will continue to strive for excellence and deliver relevant content,

services and programmes for all of our consumers and clients.



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