Advertising is an unfortunately necessary part of life – and I say that as a guy whose livelihood depends upon it. But there’s a fine line between an acceptable level of distraction and an infuriating invasion of a user’s space. Case in point: sellAring. Instead of placing banner ads in free apps or even embedding them in the user’s status bar, sellAring places audio ads (remember those, radio listeners?) over the “ring ring” sound you hear when calling another party.

The Android Reddit is up in arms, with hundreds of comments containing the predictable bile. Their two-minute Powerpoint-class YouTube spot aimed at free app developers has an astounding three likes to 188 dislikes – a ratio rarely seen even on the vitriolic cesspool of YouTube commenters. The video itself isn’t exactly evil, but it does paint Android users as targets for marketing and not customers. The main selling points are more engagement while a user waits for a call and the fact that ads play even when users aren’t actively using the app, though hopefully they disappear once it’s uninstalled.

SellARing claims that they already have advertising agreements with clients like NBC, FOX and Wal-Mart, and that their SDK is easy to integrate into existing apps. Full marks for creativity guys, but this kind of intrusive advertising is not the way to win users. We’d have a hard time recommending any app that used this particular service, even if it unlocked your bootloader and downloaded more RAM.

This Android Community post is brought to you by the great taste of Charleston Chew®! 

[via Android Police]

  • Armodell


  • bitflung

    yeah, i hate ads too – and anything that makes them more likely to hit my ears.

    i don’t listen to the radio anymore because i can’t stand the ads. at least radio doesn’t charge you to listen to ads though, like TV; i killed my TV years ago because i just couldn’t stand PAYING for ads. better than 30% of TV content are ads. that’s just disgusting to me.

    as for this concept – not the ad part but the repalcement of the ring ring audio clip with something ‘different’ – i really like it.

    i’d love to see an app make use of this – maybe notice that i’m calling my father and, instead of ring-ring noise it plays a little text-to-speech clip letting me know that he emailed 5 minutes ago and i haven’t read that email yet.

    something like this on the inbound calls would be stellar, “beep-incoming call from your wife-beep-last message from ‘wife’ is unread-beep-transcription reads :’on your way home yet?’-beep”.  that would be great – i can even see it replacing some phone calls: send an email and if you REALLY need that person to see it and know more than one contact method (email + phone#) then ping them with the other (phone call) but you don’t have to actually get them to answer the second (don’t have to pick up). in this case, just calling and hanging up after the first ring would get my attention and i’d know there’s something important for me to read/reply to from her.

    hrm – now i wonder if i should write such an app…
    anyone else interested? assume it would be free and open source – am i dreaming a heavily biased dream here or would that be useful?