Activate forecasts that during the next four years, global Internet and media revenue will grow by approximately $300 billion, continuing to outpace the gross domestic product (GDP).
The revenue from the market, which Activate estimates will grow 4.1% annually, will become part of the $1.7 trillion global consumer media and internet market by 2021, through internet-access fees, ads and paid content.
Michael Wolf, cofounder and manager director of the consulting firm Activate, presented the data at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ D.Live technology conference on Tuesday in Laguna Beach, California.
New business models will drive adoption as consumer behavior changes. The report suggests that the smart speaker battle isn't about the device. Adoption will grow faster, but not as high. The sales of smart speakers will likely peak in 2019 at 41 million units. It's really about the interface.
As voice search and services separate from devices, the interface that makes Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Facebook Messenger, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana and others work will become critical. The objective will be for each company to own the digital assistant via the conversational interface creating a layer between the consumer and other services such as search, social, communications, media, and hardware.
Ultimately, Activate expects the hardware will become a commodity and the digital assistant will be ubiquitous through a broad set of devices, according to the report. Most digital assistants already integrate messaging bots enabled through voice and text.
About 17% of U.S. consumers own a smart speaker today and the majority are Amazon Echo.
Not surprisingly, video captures the largest share of attention of the daily 12 hours of tech and media consumption, and by 2021 Americans will spend an additional 18 minutes a day with tech and media. The category of "Other" will take the second-biggest chunk, followed by audio, gaming, and social media.
Subscriptions will become the primary revenue model, accounting for more than half of consumer Internet and media growth. Revenue from online videos such as subscription streaming services, individual purchases and online ads are expected to contribute 15% of the $200 billion U.S. market for television and video in 2018.