January 30, 2012

Report Predicts Web Economy Will Double By 2016

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Google had sponsored the BCG study. BCG representatives have informed RedOrbit that Google had sponsored similar research in 2010, but that this latest study was commissioned solely by BCG. The information has been corrected in this version of the report. We apologize for any confusion the error may have caused.

Fueled by the rapid growth of mobile Internet access, the value of Web economy in G-20 countries will nearly double, from $2.3 trillion to $4.2 trillion, by 2016, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) claims in a new study.

According to Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor for the Telegraph, the study assumes that nearly half of the current global population, or about 3 billion people, will be online by that time. Of those, 80% will be using smartphone to access the Internet, BCG asserts.

The study also determined that each year, approximately 200 million people are going online for the first time, added Tim Weber, business editor for the BBC News website, Davos.

"These numbers look impressive, but they are still just a fraction of the global economy," Weber wrote on January 27. "In 2010, the internet economy in the G20 group of leading nations was worth $2.3tn -- larger than the economies of Italy or Brazil, but a mere 4.1% of the total size of all G20 economies."

Furthermore, according to the BBC, the BCG study claims that within four years, the majority of people using the Web will live in "emerging markets," with China expected to lead the way with nearly 800 million Internet users -- more than the U.S., India, France, Germany, and the UK combined.

"Understanding the economic potential of the web should be an urgent priority for leaders... [with] a powerful case for countries and companies to get online and reap the rewards of an age of data," Patrick Pichette, chief financial officer of Google, who had sponsored related research on the UK economy back in 2010, told Weber.

However, as the BBC business editor pointed out, "the report suggests that Google will not be the only winner“¦ The researchers identify several 'internet ecosystems' that will try to tie users in to their customized part of the internet, among them Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Baidu and Tencent in China and Yandex in Russia."

The report, entitled "The Connected World: The Digital Manifesto - How Companies and Cultures Can Win in the Digital Economy," was written by The Connected World: The Digital Manifesto - How Companies and Cultures Can Win in the Digital Economy and is available online as a PDF file.


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