App Analysis #1: Zedge Ringtones

We’re beginning a new series where we look into the ads in applications. We will use an app for a decent amount of time and figure out how it utilizes ads. Then, we will try to determine how well AdClear blocks them. Up first is Zedge Ringtones. It’s consistently in the top 25 free apps and has over 100 million downloads. It’s also inundated with ads.

Most of the ads in Zedge are located on a banner on the bottom of the screen. After first launching the app (with AdClear off), there’s this Wish ad.


After a few seconds, it changed to an ad for Madden. I decided to time the banner.

12:28 Kohl’s
12:28 Mobile Strike
12:29 Wish
12:29 Amazon
12:30 Kohl’s
12:30 Richard Holt Plumbing
12:31 Geek
12:31 Wish

That’s about a 30 second lasting time, which is pretty standard but cruel in an app like this.

I then downloaded and turned on AdClear, making sure the number of ads blocked starts at 0. Upon moving over to Zedge, we’re greeted with an unfortunate site: a Progressive ad. This means our SSL interception didn’t work properly. After it cycles out, we get a black bar for a few seconds before the same ad returns. Does this mean we’ve blocked one ad out of three? Not necessarily. Looking at our statistics, AdClear has blocked 17 ads in between those two ads. Over the next few minutes the same behaviour occurred, with 11 more ads blocked.

I decided to use the app for the next twenty minutes, and there was nothing. No black blocks, no ads, no interruptions. I took one screenshot after five minutes ad-free, then waited to capture any ad that popped up while browsing the app, but I got nothing. By 12:56, AdClear had blocked 60 ads in 20 minutes and let 2 through.

As we noted last week, each of these ads would be quite taxing on cellular data. 60 ads would be, roughly, in the range of 20-30 megabytes of data. That is great, but it isn’t good enough. Our goal is to block 100% of ads, and we need your help to do it. If you find a lot of ads in an app while using AdClear, use the Send Feedback option in the menu to let us know. We will work to improve your performance as soon as possible. AdClear is available to download directly from our website.

For inquiries, contact:
Christian Sandlin

About SEVEN Networks

SEVEN Networks software solutions deliver device-centric mobile traffic management and analytics for wireless carriers. Extending control from the network to the mobile client gives operators the power to manage and optimize data traffic before it impacts the network. Device-based analytics offer deeper and timelier insight than solutions that are solely network based. SEVEN’s Open Channel products reduce operator costs, increase efficiency in the use of wireless infrastructure, and enhance end-user experience. They bring immediate capacity relief to overloaded networks, simplify the creation of innovative new service plans, and provide actionable intelligence for mobile carriers.
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