Verizon Wants To Sell App Installations On Your Phone To Advertisers

Image courtesy of Robert Mooney

Space on your Android phone is for sale, if you’re a Verizon customer, and according to ad agency executives who have worked on such deals. Verizon activates an estimated 20 million new Android phones every year, so even a small amount per installation could add up for the mobile company, assuming that customers would tolerate it. Would they?

AdAge shared this information based on discussions with advertising executives, who weren’t identified for obvious reasons. Verizon reportedly began shopping the idea around in late 2015, but wouldn’t comment on whether any brands took them up on it.

The price being offered was about $1 or $2 per customer, which is apparently a good price compared to other programs that pay people to install apps. Only Android users’ phones were for sale, since Apple exerts more control over what can be installed on their phones.

“If the app doesn’t offer valuable content and experiences, you’re going to deal with a lot of frustrated users calling out your bloatware,” one ad executive said in criticizing the practice of pre-installing apps in general.

AdAge, for its part, suggested calling these installations “brandware,” which is about right. The goal is to get brands in front of as many people as possible, some of whom might open the app. Traditional phone bloatware is offerings from the carrier that a customer generally might not want.

Here’s an alternate idea for Verizon: ask customers to kick in an extra five or ten bucks to ensure that your phone doesn’t have any paid apps on it, much like how Amazon sells Kindles without “special offers” for an extra fee?

Verizon Offered to Install Marketers’ Apps Directly on Subscribers’ Phones [AdAge]

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