Japanese Carrier KDDI has started a new form of advertising that has people in an uproar. They are using Android’s notifications bar to push ads to Android devices. The service is opt out which means that a customer gets it regardless of whether they want it or not, and then can decide to opt out.
KDDI hasn’t said what kind of ad revenues it’s getting from pushing ads to their customers or whether or not they’re working on some kind of way to subsidize phone bills through the use of the ads. KDDI currently has just over 34 million subscribers. Of course all of them aren’t on Android devices.
As Intomobile points out there is a service American carriers could use for the same ad delivery called “Air Push”. We’re certain that the Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all know the backlash they would receive from doing such a thing though.
There used to be a carrier in the UK called Blyk that subsidized phone plans by having customers agree to accept text message advertising. In that model they would get 43 minutes of talk time and 217 free texts a month in exchange for the advertising. That company folded however that was before the wide adoption of smartphones.