Advertisers are looking to blockchain technology to subvert the marketing phenomena called “ad blindness.” Ad blindness is a sort of natural defense against the constant bombardment of ads people are subjected to on a daily basis. Essentially, potential consumers disregard most of the advertisements with which they are deluged. This adaptation, along with ad blocking software, is enough to cost the advertising industry roughly five billion in revenue annually.
Big Revenues for big Companies
Despite this hurdle, the industry has been posting record revenues, with the most recent annual take hovering at around $88 billion. While revenues are climbing, most dollars are flowing right back into giants like Facebook and Google. Growth in advertising has been coming from the social media sphere rather than organic website advertisements. This distinction means that significant platforms are dictating terms while smaller advertisers have to get more creative to take available market shares.
The original sin of the internet will always be relying on advertising to fund our information architecture. Without exaggeration, we fucked that one up so bad.
— can (@can) August 12, 2018
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is leading a revolution in many fields, but most notably for advertisers, as it is allowing a subversion of the traditional advertising mechanism. Currently, publishers force users to accept ads as a part of their platforms. As a result, viewers have adopted an overall jaded stance on what they see regarding banner-style marketing attempts.
The ads Customers Want to See
Blockchain technology allows advertisers to focus on users who want to see what they have to offer rather than maintaining blindness to all of the stuff they don’t care about. Such an innovation can both target ads and incentivize watching them.
While this is a revolutionary idea on paper, there are few working examples of this put into practice. The Basic Attention Token (BAT) adds value to the Brave internet browser. The browser currently has 3.1 million monthly active users who are given the opportunity to filter ads, block them, or watch them for reimbursement in BAT tokens. Clicks, engagements, impressions, or other KPIs can be misleading to investors whereas BAT tokens give a demonstrable metric by which advertisers can measure their investment.
A new Relationship with Customers
Other blockchain platforms like Kind Ads and AdEx have helped the advertising industry reach a healthy relationship between stakeholders, customers, and the industry. While internet users are moving along its rails and visiting different websites, they are tracked in finer detail, giving advertisers higher-resolution information about the people they are trying to reach.
AdEx develops ads based upon user profiles and allows users to tell the platform what ads are the most important to them. This means that advertisers get real-time reporting on the efficacy of their ads and more information on the person they are trying to reach.
Decentralization for the Future
Facebook and Google are snapping up most of the ad revenue, but decentralized ads will allow for direct relationships to be formed between advertisers and their customers rather than financing intermediaries. Users instead of third parties get monetized for their time and attention.
Ultimately, the current structure of the advertising business is inefficient in terms of both KPI and impact. Blockchain technology, as well as companies like Kind Ads and AdEx, are seeking to find a new discourse between companies and the audience they want to reach. The ultimate goal is wrestling power out of the hands of major corporations and curing ad blindness.