Peel, the app that turns our mobile devices into remote controls, announced Wednesday it has reached 50 million activations and is on track to surpass 125 million by the end of the year.
Unlike other third-party remote control apps, Peel has a leg up with device manufacturers, integrating with Samsung and HTC. Peel founder and CEO Thiru Arunachalam thinks this is behind Peel's rapid growth—it has doubled in size in six months. "People don't necessarily have to download it. That's the advantage. These phones and tablets ship with our software, which partially explains the rapid growth we're seeing," he told Fast Company. "We're growing with the industry."
One of the ways Peel has monetized its free remote-control app is by recommending new shows for its users to check out. These ad units see click-through rates of up to 22%, Arunachalam said.