July 2018

The Intender vs. The Unintender

This month, the New Lens focuses on two awesome stories about the future use of media. Unfortunately, both articles completely MISS OUT on understanding two key consumer behavior segments:  “The Intender” vs. “The Unintender.”

What do these terms mean and how do they impact the industry? Find out within!

New Lens Noodler

On average, what percent of time do people open their phones with no particular task in mind?

  1. 5%
  2. 20%
  3. 33%
  4. 47%

Read on for the answer!

What’s New?

We all pick up our phone several times a day intending to do a particular activity–check our email, send a text, post a photo to social media, or search for something in Google. Think of this use as “Intender sessions.”

But no matter how often you think you do it, there is no denying there are moments during our day where we pick up our phone without REALLY having a task or goal in mind. You might do this in line at the grocery store, trying to avoid an awkward conversation, on a boring conference call, or during commercials when watching TV. Think of this type of device use as “Unintender sessions.”

During either of these moments, we may discover and consume content. But how that content is discovered might be very different. And that’s the difference between the “Intender” and the “Unintender.”

Intender media consumption and Unintender media consumption are both massive media opportunities. But the devices we choose to use, the type of media consumed, and the opportunities and methods to influence usage are very different between Intender and UnIntender media consumption. We’ll be writing on that in more detail in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned.


What’s Interesting?

An Intended Truth. Ad Age correctly pointed out this month that “voice” is changing everything. Digging deeper, the context around this change is that people are using voice hubs for directions, finding phone numbers, shopping–basically, task-oriented things. When we need information, we ask Alexa a direct question, get an answer, and move on.

This brings us to the article’s BIG MISS. As of yet, these machines don’t recognize our presence and don’t proactively attempt to speak to our wants, needs, and desires…so all of today’s voice device media consumption is Intender Media. Our future phones will likely do a better job of leveraging voice input (e.g., Siri and Google Assistant), but asking a question of our phone will always remain an intentional query. The bottom line is that until we see HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the voice market will NOT be a player in the massive Unintender Media market.

A Series of Unintended Events. In what is certainly one of the most provocative articles we’ve read in a long time, TechCrunch points out:

“. . . An intelligent notification system sending personalized news notifications could be used to optimize content and content distribution on the fly by understanding the impact of news content in real time on the lock screens of people’s mobile devices.”

Okay…so what? The article points out that social media and content aggregators have changed how news content gets to the public. However, the New Lens thinks the focus of this great article is off: The article speaks to the opportunity for news media to invest in AI to help consumption of their news.

This brings us to the article’s BIG MISS. While there’s an opportunity here for news media, the opportunity is greater for those who can directly control and evolve and widely distribute the technology embedded in our devices. Yes, we are talking about carriers and OEMs.

A vast amount of today’s media consumption comes in UnIntender sessions. The discovery challenge in our “always on,” content overloaded-world can’t be met unless there’s a way to be the “vehicle” to transport the content to the public.

YES!  Bring on new UI/UXs and new AI and machine learning. But it will be the aggressive carriers and OEMs that reap the benefits.  And they need to move fast–before Apple and Google use their operating systems to shut carriers and OEMs out of yet another billion-dollar opportunity.


What About Friction?

It’s Still about Friction. No matter whether our mobile interactions are intended or unintended, the winners still continue to be determined by who can best remove the friction that gets in the way of our content discovery and consumption. Our CEO Jon Jackson takes a look at this hot topic in a recent byline with SmartBrief. Social, voice-enabled, mobile, and content recommendation solutions are all competing to get news, weather, local, and entertainment in front of us.


What’s in the Numbers: 47%

Unintended Dibs! Last year, our First Dibs report showed that, indeed, almost of the time that we pick up our phones, we do so without a particular task in mind. We fully expect that number to increase further this year for smartphones. That truly makes 2018 the year of the “Unintender.”


What Else?

Here’s where to find out more about frictionless media, snackable moments, and the importance of the first screen. Check out the Firstly Newsroom.