nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-08-20-10-18-46Is the next mobile advertising frontier pop-up notifications? Earlier this month, Slashgear reported that HTC served its users an ad for the (abysmal) Fantastic Four movie as an ostensible phone theme advertisement. Now Android Police reports that Samsung has served an ad for the Galaxy S6 Edge+ via its Samsung Push Service. Also, one of Samsung’s bundled apps, the Peel remote, popped up an ad for a TV show, though that may be unrelated.

These may just be isolated incidents, so it’s unclear whether to read too much into them yet. And it’s not as if they’re the first app to serve advertisements via notifications. I recently had to uninstall the 1Mobile app store, which I recommended in my Nook HD Kit Kit Cyanogenmod guide for installing the Nook Reader, because it started serving up notification ads that couldn’t be dismissed without first opening the app itself. But that kind of thing is penny-ante compared to the actual manufacturer of the hardware doing it.

But then, one thing about advertisements in notifications is that they could be harder to block than web ads. And with mobile advertising a $32 billion business, making sure that customers can actually see the ads could be an important concern.

I hope that if more of this sort of thing starts happening, consumers and consumer groups are quick to nip it in the bud. But for now, it may be yet another reason to turn your notifications off when you sit down to e-read with your phone.


  1. I wouln’t use a phone with ads. I’d switch to a phone without ads. Somehow, if all phones had ads, I might quit using phones. I have no use for the stupid crap pushed by ads.

    Do the admen really believe that pushing ad for a movie like the Fantastic Four will get me off my duff and buying a ticket? I’m sure businesses would do just fine without ads on phones, Kindles, or anywhere.

  2. The ads wouldn’t be there if 1) the ad buyer didn’t believe it will be effective and 2) the content producers and gatekeepers had other, better ways of financing their businesses. Thus, we have a social contract where we surrender privacy etc. in exchange for cheap content and cheap devices to consume that content. The big problem is that this contract was even more elusive than the shrink-wrap variety. Informed consent seems to have become a casualty.

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