Bloatware anyone? Verizon to offer branded app installs

It seems that mobile carrier Verizon has some big plans when it comes to branded products. The company wants to install branded apps across subscriber home screens. This could potentially result in millions of downloads.
Verizon to install branded apps
Based on interviews with agency executives, Advertising Age reports that the deals would carry a hefty price tag of between $1-2 for each device. In terms of ad dollars – that’s huge. But perhaps Verizon can afford to hike up the rate given that it is one of the most expensive carriers in the US.
Apparently, Verizon began courting marketers for Android phone app installations in late 2015. Like most bloatware, the carrier proposes that branded apps be downloaded only to new devices when consumers activate their phones for the very first time.
Advertising Age was unable to confirm if anyone has actually shown interest in the offer. However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Verizon currently has 75m smartphone subscribers and actives around 10m new phones per quarter, with Android phones dominating the market share at over 50% of the US market. The company has also pre-installed Amazon’s Appstore as well as Kindle apps across its phones and that’s certainly not done for free.
Agency executives certainly seem to think it’s a unique opportunity, potentially enabling brands to see fast spikes in app downloads.
The downside? Well, there’s no guarantee subscribers are actually going to use pre-installed apps. Some may just delete them. It also doesn’t allow much room for targeting since brands won’t know who buys a phone.

One source told AdAge:

“If you want to get a lot of downloads, verified, in a short period of time, it’s great because it’s baked right into the phone. It’s a low threshold, low cost way to gain scale, but if you don’t have a follow up strategy for engagement then you’ll probably have a lot of waste.”

However, it remains to be seen if consumers can get on board with bloatware, which is traditionally widely disliked by them as it clogs up their phone space.
In the meantime, carriers are trying frantically to figure out new revenue streams.

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