Brave Ads allows users to earn rewards by opting-in to watch ads, and blocking advertising they don’t want to see.
It’s an attempt to disrupt the current model and upset the $600 billion-plus ads market, and it might just work.
Users can earn 70% of ad revenue share in the plaform’s native ethereum-based basic attention token (BAT) cryptocurrency as a reward for giving their ‘attention’ to an ad, with Brave keeping the rest.
The current global advertising model is based on tracking user behaviour, reporting that to publishers, and serving people ads based on their browsing habits, and in a world where privacy and data breaches from the likes of Facebook occur on a daily basis people are getting fed up, and are increasingly looking for alternatives.
So, should advertisers be worried? Well, yes and no – or at least, not yet.
While its native cryptocurrency has skyrocketed more than 250% in the first quarter of 2019 from $0.12 to $0.43 per token, that’s not necessarily a measure of success, cryptocurrency markets are largely driven by sentiment after all, not actual results.
For that, we need to look at real-world examples of websites that have implemented Brave Ads, and for that, the results are not quite as rosy.
For example, Archive.org, one of the biggest websites in the world and which receives millions of visits per day, received a measly $2,500 in micropayments from users of the Brave website.
While growth of the Brave browser, measured in monthly active users (MAU), is on the rise with more than 5.5 million users recorded in January this year, and more than 20 million downloads of its browser, it’s still a long, long way from the market share of the world’s most popular browser, Chrome, which is used by more than 60% of web users.
However, Brave points to the signing up of 55,000 content creators , websites and Youtubers as “verified Brave publishers” as a growing sign the tide is turning against the traditional way ads are paid for and served to users.
Brendan Eich said:
With Brave Ads, we are launching a digital ad platform that is the first to protect users’ data rights and to reward them for their attention. Brave Ads also aim to improve the economics and conversion of the online advertising industry, so that publishers and advertisers can thrive without the intermediaries that collect huge fees and that contribute to web-wide surveillance. Privacy by design and no tracking are integral to our mission to fix the Web and its funding model.”
At the time of writing, BAT is changing hands at $0.42 per token and has a market share of $531 million.