By Greg Wester, CMO
Last week, we posted an “Exclusive” of our sneak peek of the Apple News roadmap. For those that read it, you by now know that we didn’t really get an exclusive and were just touting the wares of Device-Centric Discovery (DCD) solutions… but that didn’t stop you from sending in your feedback and/or overall thoughts.
Big thanks to all the people that chimed in. Here are our responses to the most thoughtful feedback below:
Q1. Interesting piece. Apple and Google certainly make a mint in app installs. Wouldn’t building solutions that compete with those apps be a threat to that revenue?
Great thought. To your point, I certainly do wonder how the preinstallation of Apple News has impacted installs of news and information apps. While we can only pretend to have the inside insight on what Apple or Google does, we do know that both these companies have thrived by keeping a pulse on what’s next. The reality is that people don’t get jazzed by having to install yet another app on their already crowded phones. And one competitive reality is clear, if it’s not Google or Apple that moves first, then someone else will certainly be taking that lead. The obvious contender would be large OEMs or U.S. carriers with the influence to impact what software gets installed on Android devices.
Q2. No way Apple does this. People just want control of their phones. No one wants this nonsense.
Well, if I know that “not every product is for everyone”, then Apple certainly knows that. The current Apple News product is catered to those who love finding content on their phone. For those that don’t want much of it, there are ways to “dial it down”. But what isn’t going to change is the increasing amount of content options available in a digital world – which is already overwhelming. Consumers may differ in how they consume content, but reducing choice overload is something that consumers will always embrace, and that’s the crux of DCD.
Q3. I work in app design and we test things all the time. We’ve never looked at “different” interfaces like the way you describe the Discovery Agent – mainly because my firm’s app can’t control what happens on unlock. But this seems like it would be a little annoying to users?
Well . . . maybe ask yourself this question. . . Netflix gives a very different experience than your cable box. Would you consider that annoying? As a UI expert, I’m sure you can agree that today’s smartphone UI/UX is dated. If you open your phone today, you’ll get your home screen or the last app you are in – which isn’t exactly helpful for the user who is looking to “discover” something new. A smart discovery agent, like all DCD solutions, would be designed to REDUCE friction for the user. It’s what today’s mobile users find really annoying, and the challenge that Netflix’ UI/UX has grabbed by the horns.
Q4. While some of these features sound great – I can’t help but think “So What” to your Apple News piece. How much is there for them to gain?
We attempted to quantify the mobile ad opportunity of improving the smartphone experience in 2017, and determined that there was a multi-billion opportunity in what we called “First Dibs”. And the was JUST FROM ADVERTISING! But overall, with the world trending towards “Appnostic” behavior (meaning people unlocking their phones with no app in mind), media and service provider winners will emerge by taking out the friction involved in users finding what they need, want, or desire from their mobile phone. And even aside from the monetary opportunity, DCD will become the differentiator in billions of dollars of brand equity created by interfaces that make consumers’ lives easier.
Thanks for the great response to our last blog. If you have other questions, don’t be shy. Hit us up any time right here!