The mobile screen after unlock has no value 54% of the time – a first dibs opportunity for mobile carriers

Wireless carriers have an opportunity to reach mobile users first after unlocking a device. According to a report from content engagement platform provider, Mobile Posse, such a First Dibs Opportunity may be worth multiple billions. Based on three separate studies, the resulting report highlights the immediate entry point into mobile advertising. Mobile carriers are positioned uniquely given their huge subscriber bases.
As the study points out, if smartphones were smart, “they’d do a better job of giving us something useful”. Instead, 31% of users will be staring at a home screen upon first unlocking their device, whilst 49% will see their last used app. 23% of mobile app sessions are immediately ended after unlock. Over 54% of time the first screen has no value to the user and they tend to switch to something else within three seconds.

Indeed, a whopping 70% of consumers agree that they used their phones to simply kill time, when waiting in line, being in the bathroom or during TV commercial breaks. However, 13% said they killed time without having a specific app in mind and another 47% said that they didn’t know which app they were going to use during unlocks.
Given its prevalence, mobile boredom has thus become predictable. From 300,000 mobile sessions, Mobile Posse estimates around 42% of session to be “idle”, which means that they are short, sporadic and without task or social-driven purpose. These sessions are usually followed by more idle sessions.

But do people actually want more out of the unlocking experience? As it turns out, at least half of them do. According to the survey, 46% of mobile users were generally interested, with those often engaging with notifications (68%) and Facebook (72%) expressing a greater interest.
When tested, 85% of smartphone users enjoyed the experience of engaging with content upon unlock. Another 5% would prefer to see content they previously looked at, whilst 10% do not wish to see content they did not open up themselves.
For carriers, the opportunity to engage users first could present around 2.5% to 5% in mobile ad revenue up for grabs.

Jon Jackson, Mobile Posse founder and CEO, concludes:

“Device behavior has changed. While curious mobile users continue to reach for their smartphones in times of boredom, it creates an opportunity to compete with the top dogs in mobile ad revenue. Our data shows that by claiming and owning the first screen subscribers interact with, mobile carriers and device OEMs have a unique opportunity to be a disruptor and unlock new revenue streams – all while improving the user experience.”

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