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Oh No They Di'int! SlingLabs Launches Notification Bar Ads

Authored by: Steven Blum — Aug 4, 2011

I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that when I download an app for zero dollars, I can expect ads for paralegal advice and teeth whitening to pop up at the bottom of my screen. In some cases, like with the game Bouncy Mouse, the ads are intrusive but harmless. In other cases, like with the app that dispenses medical advice, they are completely inappropriate. But at least – in both cases – the ads are confined to the apps themselves.

Now, an advertising firm wants to help advertisers and developers integrate their ads into the very DNA of an Android phone – their notification centers. 

Slinglabs, an advertising firm, is marketing a product that'll allow developers to place ads within the notification center of Android phones. "Banner ads typically generate CPMs far less than $0.50, while Notifications consistently reach CPMs of $2 or more," reads the promotional copy on their website. "Better yet, notifications are not dependent on users interacting with your application – they receive notifications at any time!"

While this is potentially a goldmine for advertisers, we're guessing users will be none to happy to be in constant contact with advertising firms even after they've closed the offending app. Perhaps sensing that they may have just overstepped an invisible line between smartphone users and advertisers, Slinglabs even includes a page on their site that allows users the option to "opt-out" of their advertising by entering their phone number. We're guessing those high click-rates (40%? Really?) will diminish once users opt-out or uninstall these apps, which have essentially turned their phones into mobile billboard screens.

What do you think of Slinglab's notification center ads? Is this an example of malware masquerading as advertising or a legitimate way to make money off a free app?

Source: Android and Me

Steven Blum has written more than 2,000 blog posts as a founding member of AndroidPIT's English editorial team. A graduate of the University of Washington, Steven Blum also studied Journalism at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for two years. Since then, his writing has appeared in The Stranger, The Seattle P-I, Blackbook Magazine and Venture Villlage. He loves the HTC One and hopes the company behind it still exists in a few years.


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  • Zhelyazko Atanasov Aug 8, 2011 Link to comment

    AirPush (who have ads in this site) are already providing such service. But many developers who have tried Airpush have abandoned it, because of the serious decrease of active users.

  • Steven Blum Aug 5, 2011 Link to comment

    Yeah that should work. Other apps, like Lookout, can also help find spammy apps.

  • red Aug 5, 2011 Link to comment

    I haven't rooted my device so I can't use adfree, but I do use air push detector, which is supposed to notify you which app is spamming so you can delete it. I haven't been spammed yet, but reviewers at the market say it works.

  • Steven Blum Aug 4, 2011 Link to comment

    I also wonder about that click through rate of 40%. I'm betting the high CTR is more due to the fact that users click on the ad, thinking it's a notification from the app. Sneaky.....

  • Jeremiah Aug 4, 2011 Link to comment

    It's a good way to get your app uninstalled by everyone. I don't think even android users will go for this crap. We've been discussing it already:

  • Martin Krischik Aug 4, 2011 Link to comment

    1) I use paid apps whenever possible.

    2) I have AdFree installed.

    3) Every App using SlingLap will display exactly 1 (one) Ad before being de-installed.