5 Major Trends In Internet Use

In 2000, eight million Americans had broadband Internet at home. A decade later, that number has grown to nearly 200 million thanks in large part to the National Broadband Plan. Not coincidentally, expanded access to high-speed Internet in rural areas has paralleled the increased Internet use among ag retailers.

Earlier this year, the CropLife Media Group (CLMG) conducted a survey asking its primary audience questions about their Internet usage and preferences. We wanted to learn how ag retailers are using the Internet in 2010 and compare the results to a similar study we conducted in 2008.

Our research revealed a number of interesting findings, but five major trends really stood out. Here is a look at those trends:

1. Mobile Internet use rising steadily. A Morgan Stanley analyst predicts that within the next five years “more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs.” While perhaps not at the pace of the general public, smartphone use among ag retailers is up 25% since 2008, according to the CLMG survey. In my September 2010 column, “Web-Enabled Phones: Get Smart,” I listed 10 ways mobile devices are being put to use by the agricultural community. From tracking weather to checking crop prices, a growing number of on-the-go ag retailers are staying connected to the Web via their smartphones.

2. Higher expectations for relevant content. Accord­ing to our survey, nearly half of the respondents (48%) said they have cancelled a subscription to a newspaper or magazine because they can get the same or related content online. This may suggest expectations for relevant, quality content online have reached the same level that exists for content in print. Of course, relevancy is always going to be subject to each user’s personal experience and what they are looking for. For some, a high-quality article with an infographic that clearly explains and answers his or her question may be perfectly relevant. For another, it may be a video interview of an industry expert addressing a new problem (i.e., soybean sudden death syndrome).

3. Online video consumption continues to climb. The number of U.S. households that are watching online video is growing four times faster than watching TV, according to a recent Nielsen study. The ag retail industry has joined the YouTube era as well, albeit on a smaller scale. More than 80% of our respondents said they have watched video online, up about 5% from 2008. When it comes to online video, interviews relating to technology (64%) was the topic that interested respondents most. It was followed by interviews relating to crop inputs (56%), product/equipment demonstrations (52%), and interviews relating to grower-customers (51%).

4. e-Learning trending upward. Web-based educational programs make use of a number of technologies, including e-mail, chat rooms, two-way interactive video teleconferencing, video streaming and voice-over-Internet. One particular teaching/training application that has struck a chord with ag dealers is the Webinar. According to our survey, more than 67% of respondents said they’ve attended at least one Webinar, up 35% from 2008. The Webinar format allows attendees to learn about topics relevant to their work, without having to spend time and money traveling. In addition, CLMG has even offered Certified Crop Advisers CEUs for attending its Webinars. For more information, visit CropLife.com/webinars.

5. Social media adoption is growing. Nearly half of all Americans are now members of at least one social network (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) — double the proportion of just two years ago, according to SocialMediaToday.com. While social network use is highest among the young, it’s not exclusively their club: two-thirds of 25- to 34-year-olds and half of those aged 35 to 44 also now have personal profile pages. Results from the CLMG survey indicate social media adoption among ag retailers is up 24% from 2008. But while memberships are up, most dealers have not yet fully immersed themselves in social media. About half (47%) of the respondents classified their level of social media use as “low” to “very low.” Only 5% considered themselves as “very high” users.

Leave a Reply

Matt Hopkins Stories

Twitter
Matt Hopkins15 Twitter Accounts Every Ag Professional Must Follow
October 13, 2016
What do singer Katy Perry and the President of the United States have in common? They are two of the Read More
Farmers on Tablet
Matt Hopkins6 Mobile App Trends Worth Watching In Agriculture
May 9, 2016
The agricultural industry is being transformed by the use of data. It is everywhere, and over the next several years, Read More
Social media
Matt Hopkins7 Social Media Trends Shaping Ag Retail In 2016
April 22, 2016
After writing my last column on why social media is a must for ag retailers, I heard from several readers Read More
Farmer on social media
Matt Hopkins6 Compelling Reasons Why Social Media Is A Must For Ag Retailers
March 17, 2016
The evolution and growth of social media use among ag retailers since 2010 has been nothing less than astonishing. In Read More
Trending Articles
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Wilco
CropLife 100Valley Agronomics, Wilco-Winfield To Form New Agronomy Joint Venture
November 11, 2016
Valley Agronomics LLC, headquartered in Rupert, ID, is a joint venture between Valley Wide Cooperative and Winfield Solutions, LLC. Wilco-Winfield, Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute Issues Statement On The U.S. Elections
November 10, 2016
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn has issued the following statement on the results of the 2016 elections: “TFI Read More
Latest News
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research has announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
ManagementAg Industry Comes Together To Address Climate Change
December 1, 2016
Addressing climate change — and more specifically, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture — can only be achieved through collective Read More
Young soybean field
HerbicidesLiquid Formulation Valor EZ Herbicide Available For 201…
December 1, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has released Valor EZ; a liquid formulation of the company’s leading herbicide, Valor. Named Valor EZ Herbicide Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
ManagementThe Value Of Cooperatives In Modern Agriculture
December 1, 2016
Editor’s Note: Jaxon Mullinnix of  Lone Tree, IA, was recently named the Iowa state winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay Read More
AGCO Operator of the Year Tony Kornder
SprayersAGCO Names Tony Kornder Operator Of The Year
December 1, 2016
AGCO Corp. names Tony Kornder with Genesis Growing Solutions in Le Sueur, MN, the 11th annual Operator of the Year. Read More
Chris Henney OABA
ManagementOABA Industry Conference To Provide Outlook For Future …
November 29, 2016
The upcoming Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is packed with widely-respected speakers and industry professionals, sharing their expertise on a Read More
Corn
InsecticidesMajor Review Finds Neonic Poses Low Risk To Aquatic Inv…
November 28, 2016
A major new ecotoxicological review and risk assessment has been published in the peer-reviewed literature and concluded that registered crop Read More
EquipmentGSI Details New Grain Drying Efficiency System for Coop…
November 28, 2016
Grain elevators and ag co-ops are always looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency to help improve profitability. For Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
AGCO AgControl system
Precision AgPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
November 28, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
ARA
Eric SfiligojTaking The Industry’s Pulse At ARA
November 28, 2016
When most of you read this particular column, many of the industry’s key folks will probably be spending at least Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls …
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
FertilizerNutrient Management, Conservation Among Topics Covered …
November 23, 2016
Certified crop advisers, consultants, farmers, agribusiness professionals and students will learn more about nutrient management, soil and water conservation, pest Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsa…
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
Arysta LifeScience
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Forms Alliance With Beem Biologics
November 21, 2016
As part of its recently announced strategy to become a leader in high-value, high-growth specialty market segments in the crop Read More
DuPont sign
Crop InputsDuPont To End Pension Contribution For Active Employees
November 18, 2016
DuPont will no longer contribute to active employees’ pension plans, a move that will affect the retirement of 13,000 workers, Read More