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The future of mobile is the surfaces economy | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed by InMobi.

My 11-year-old daughter has taught me many things. But first and foremost, cell phones suck. She’s sick of searching, scrolling, and tapping through apps to find that one video clip she wants to see.  

Recent data from Wyzowl shows that 90% of people use their mobile devices to watch video content. But the discovery journey to watch a YouTube video can take up to eight clicks—unlocking your phone, scrolling through your apps, firing up the YouTube app, searching the app, scrolling to find the desired video, playing the video, and waiting until you can skip the ads to finally watch the video.  The time has come in mobile’s evolution to unlock the content experience for everyone and to enable publishers and the media industry as a whole to meet consumers where they are: glancing at their cell phone’s lock screen. 

The lock screen—and its close relative, the home screen—are emerging from being underutilized real estate relegated to basic utility to the so-called “surfaces economy.” This current wave of mobile innovation is empowering media publishers and the entertainment industry to provide a new and unprecedented level of intuitive functionality as well as customizable and frictionless experiences that look like TV but act like mobile.  

The surfaces economy is the future.

We’re at an inflection point in history where, per eMarketer’s forecast, the average person spends close to 5 hours per day on their phone (for millennials and Gen Z, that number is even higher). Yet sifting through the tsunami of content has become a daunting, never-ending search-and-sort ordeal.   

As such, the challenge for media companies, publishers, and app and game developers just got harder. Yes, you must invent and build a sticky experience. You must invest in building a meaningful audience. You must build loyalty to keep them coming back. But now you also need to enable organic discovery and make it easy for people to“try before they buy; you must unlock your content to deliver instant gratification.

That’s why InMobi created an entirely new platform that brings compelling content, games, and experiences to Android phone lock screens. This lock screen experience unlocks games, breaking news, media, and other immersive experiences for consumers, setting them free from the eight taps otherwise needed to find content buried inside their apps. 

For advertisers, these surfaces support high-impact creative that captures 100% of people’s attention. As inventory, they offer mass reach like TV but perform like mobile. 

Leveraging the lock screen also reduces the chaos and clutter of mobile web browsing. It provides a natural extension of the homescreen, where in news, sports, banking and finance, games, entertainment, and video can be more easily consumed by everyone as curated, shareable experiences.

And there’s no turning back from that.

We’re already seeing the popularity of surfaces in mobile-first markets like Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Creators are working with InMobi to leverage lock screen and home screen experiences to immediately connect with consumers when they glance at or unlock their phones.

For even more insights into the connected device landscape, download a complimentary copy of the "eMarketer Lookbook: Connected Devices in 2023," made possible by InMobi.

—Abhay Singhal, Co-Founder, InMobi, and CEO, InMobi Advertising Platform