Huge Opportunity Awaits Internet Startups : G-20 Internet Economy to Double by 2016


The Internet economy of the G-20 is projected to reach US$4.2 trillion in 2016, nearly double the size it was in 2010 according to The Boston Consulting Group. G-20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S.

The biggest driver is the dramatic increase in the number of users around the globe, from 1.9 billion users in 2010 to a projected 3 billion users in 2016, about 45% of the world's population. The rise of the emerging markets, the popularity of mobile devices, especially smart phones, and the growth of social media are also compounding the economic impact of the Internet.

India, with a rapidly growing economy and an ever increasing mobile subscription base will account for a big chunk of the pie.

The “new” Internet is different in many ways from the old Internet according to the report:

  • Its center of gravity is shifting. The Internet has become interactive and participatory. It is moving from fixed access to ubiquitous access. No longer limited to developed markets, it is growing by leaps and bounds in emerging markets, as well. And these countries are increasingly driving innovation.
  • It is now an “Internet of everything.” IBM predicts that 1 trillion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2015. The Internet of everything can radically change the ways companies interact with customers and run their supply chains. It also allows new entrants to attack the foundations of traditional industries.
  • It is about ecosystems. The Internet is increasingly being shaped by ecosystems orchestrated by companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, but also by companies such as Baidu and Tencent in China and Yandex in Russia.
  • It is generating tremendous economic value. Across the G-20 nations, the Internet economy amounted to 4.1 percent of GDP, or $2.3 trillion, in 2010, larger than the economies of Italy or Brazil. In some leading economies, it is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP, powering economic growth and creating jobs.
  • It has gone local. The Internet experience has become an ingrained feature of everyday life, reflecting national characteristics as well as economic, political, and social influences specific to individual countries.
  • A new generation has grown up on the Internet. The “Millennials” have vastly different expectations as employees, consumers, and citizens. The Arab Spring protests and grass-roots “occupy” movements in the West are only the most visible manifestations of the power of the Millennials to shape society and commerce.