HTC may soon resort to putting paid promotion in BlinkFeed in order to further monetize its market share. According to a revealing image posted by @upleaks, a reliable purveyor of HTC related leaks on Twitter, there's a two-pronged plan afoot, dubbed "2 Goals for HTC Monetization Plan" which outlines a possible strategy for HTC to convert their millions of users' eyeballs into money-making opportunities.
The image outlines a two-pronged strategy for HTC. The first goal involves inserting promotional messages for sponsored apps, complete with an accompanying link to purchase the app via the Google Play Store. The ads would be sold on a cost-per-install (CPI) basis, establishing this new strategy as being motivated on the basis of ads true performance and not simply an incentive to flood BlinkFeed with ads. The second goal more directly inures to HTC's benefit, as it involves auto-promotion of products, accessories, and services related to whatever HTC device the ads are being seen on. The user would be enticed to "discover, buy or download" by clicking the ad and (as HTC hopes) convert the user's expressed interest into a sale. Strategic partnerships would be formed to this end, with Yelp being mentioned in the leak as a potential partner.
It's been no secret that HTC has struggled to consistently turn a profit in recent years, with the roller-coaster rises ascensions and declines they've endured from changing market tastes and fierce competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung. In 2007, their introduction of the HTC One was hailed as a game changer for the Android ecosystem, as it ushered in a truly high-art form of design for an Android smartphone and in many ways put it on parity with Apple's iPhones. But increased pressure from Apple and other Android manufacturers such as Samsung and newcomers like Xiaomi have been forcing HTC to make some tough decisions regarding their immediate and longer-term futures. The HTC One (M9), while a fair follow-up to last year's One M8, has not been met with the same praise as its predecessor, and consequently HTC is seeing a precipitous drop in sales revenue compared to their profitable quarters of last year. If it is to turn around its ship, it needs to act quickly and smartly. The big question remains whether ad monetization of BlinkFeed is the right solution, or it will only accelerate a decline.