Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On the macro side of things, by Even Aas-Eng

The web is growing, everybody knows that. But what is the commercial online potential, how much money can google make? How big will ebay grow? How many people will use Skype in five years? And how many will be fooled into buying a book they certainly don’t need by amazons great cross sell functionality in eight years? I off course don’t know the answer to any of these questions but I know that the potential is huge and we haven’t seen anything yet.

As I once lived in India I am trying to keep up with the digital development in the country and I stumbled over an article last week that describes the potential that I mentioned above pretty good. Here are some quick facts:
- 9% internet penetration among urban Indians (total urban population 336 million)
- 83% broadband penetration of those connected
- No numbers available for rural India, we are taking about 800 million people!
- The internet population has grown about 30% year on year

In other words, we have a long way to go in India and let’s not even get started on China. I think that we will see an unprecedented growth in online usage among the growing Indian middleclass the next five years. So let’s assume that the total number of Indians connected in five years is 200 million and that we have the same number in China. Then we add some millions of new user from other developing economies and suddenly the global online world has grown by almost 100%

If Google keeps their market share they will generate around 60-80 billion USD in ad revenue (I am sure they wont keep it though), amazon will have doubled the number of book sales and so on.

So I think that if you happen to know a company that’s working on the global online arena as a media player or in the ad-technology field, buying stock is probably not the dumbest thing you can do!

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