Trendstream is only a year old and already works with some of the leading companies in web, technology and marketing communications and I am not surprised.

The London-based consultancy, spearheaded by its managing director Tom Smith, is fully dedicated to shed light on trends in technology adoption and to identify what it means for consumer behavior, marketing communications, media and content.

One of their main principles is to look for the unexpected as technology impacts in ways that people usually can’t forecast and are often more important than the expected. Probably that’s the reason why they kick-started their Global Web Index last year. Their flagship product is a syndicated market research service that surveys 32,000 web users a year to understand their web behavior and its impacts on their outlook, attitudes towards marketing communications, purchasing and media consumption in 16 global markets. Designed for agencies, advertisers or web companies, it is already adopted by some of the world’s biggest brands to help them deliver global online strategies.

Trendstream runs global research projects and provides analysis, which they present in the most professional manner by working with some of the world’s best info-graphics/visualization specialists that turn data into images that are highly effective especially in B2B marketing.

According to Smith, the first year of the Global Web Index has revealed three clear trends in the consumer adoption of the Internet, which are the following:

  1. Social media has reached mass maturity. It’s now no longer about massive growth but a shift of already active social consumers to ‘real-time’ technologies, such as status updates or tweets. The old view of text-based social media, defined by blogs and forums, is being surpassed, moving the impact of social media, from creating content and publishing to sharing other people’s content and ‘live’ opinions about real-world events. In short ‘real-time’ is re-orientating the consumer from creator to distributor and moving the focus to traditional media and professional content.
  2. The open browser-based web is losing out to packaged internet platforms such as mobile apps, Internet connected TVs, tablets, e-readers, PC apps, gaming and video platforms. These packaged platforms are re-engineering the Internet and destroying the notion of the Internet being a singular entity. Crucially for the entertainment revolution, they provide professional media with the means to create sustainable Internet business models, something the economics of the browser-based web totally failed to enable.
  3. Professional “traditional style” content is now a core part of the consumer online experience. Internet platforms are increasingly the entertainment platform of choice for hundreds of millions of consumers. This is due to the continual growth of professional content in video sites (legal and illegal), the rise of ‘real-time’, and the growth of packaged platforms.

“These trends will revolutionize our view of the Internet. In particular, the packaged Internet will transform the way we go online, the content we consume, and the ways we can create, share and communicate. Going forward five years it is clear that many people’s Internet experience will not be through a browser, but through some form of packaged platform. While many ‘Internet purists’ will bemoan their lack of openness, the creation of barriers to entry as well as the shift in control to a small number of gatekeepers, packaged platforms crucially enable professional media to create sustainable businesses online without having to change the way that the open web works. This is important, if not so for a healthy society, to enable consumers to publish and share their opinions or content. The open browser based Internet has failed to create the economics to deliver professional media business online, as advertising could not demand the premiums needed and consumers were unwilling to pay for content delivered through a browser. These changing commercial opportunities will capitalize on consumer demand for social entertainment online. They will, however, have to change the way that they create and deliver content and make sure they integrate social technologies into their product”, Smith elaborates. “Increasingly ‘real-time’ social will be integrated with the traditional content experience”, he adds, extending the impact of social media outside of the browser as well as surpassing the old models of delivering media, such as cable TV, satellite, radio or newspaper.

Watch out for this interesting and innovative company in 2011, who have already announced that their GlobalWebIndex ( will track this year’s trends in technology adoption through 26 countries, three waves of research, and 90,000 surveys.

By Daniela La Marca