Advertisers and consumers are locked in a perpetual arms race. Understandably, the average user does not want to view ads. Sophisticated ad blocking software prevents most from reaching their intended targets. Even those that navigate the blocking software are met with derision – if they are not ignored entirely. Increasingly invasive ads are souring the relationship further, necessitating an entirely new way of advertising. Understanding the attention economy and how to properly use it will be critical for the future of advertising.
The Attention Economy
Attention is a valuable commodity in our digital world. There is a finite supply of it, and consumers do not appreciate their time being wasted. To generate good will, advertisers will need to access their target demographic in a way that benefits both parties. The spiraling cost of advertising sees most companies spending more to receive less – but Brave Software’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) offers a completely new access path.
Put simply, the BAT cryptocurrency is a means of monetizing attention. Through direct browser integration, companies can pay for verified attention from users within their desired demographic. Those users are no longer assailed by random, inapplicable ads – as they are opting in to the system and providing the information necessary for useful targeting. While everything is kept anonymous through BAT’s blockchain platform, the advertisers can still be confident that they are engaging more directly with their potential customers.
In turn, each user that chooses to opt-in to the program receives BAT for their viewing of advertisements, regardless of their decision to purchase the product or not. While each ad would not pay much, it is still a heavy incentive to engage in the attention economy. Similarly, the direct payment from company to end customer will still be more cost effective than the current ‘Shotgun’ approach. Content publishers benefit through a percentage of the BAT supplied, cutting out the middlemen agents that currently barter advertising space.
The Brave Browser
Currently, the BAT pilot program is only integrated with the Brave browser. While Brave is working on integration suites form most major web browsers, the release date is still nebulous. However, Brave’s browser is specifically tailored for the type of user that would engage in the BAT program. Designed from the ground up to disable data tracking, Brave prevents the type of onerous data harvesting found with most major social media sites. Further, the inability for these trackers to run on Brave also keeps data usage low. Ad blocking is natively enabled, and users must consciously opt-in to the BAT program to see any ads at all.
If Brave can help advertisers break their negative feedback loop, consumers may be able to return to enjoying ads. That type of positivity benefits everyone involved, ensuring greater ad impact and a less obtrusive experience for the end user.
Article By: Adam Stone