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Op-Ed: New Brave browser pays you to watch new safe ads

By Paul Wallis     Apr 3, 2016 in Internet
Sydney - Brendan Eich, the co-founder of Mozilla, has invented a new browser which is a lot nicer to online users, safer, and may even solve the Adblock problem for advertisers. He may also have saved Internet advertising from itself.
The Brave browser is based on a new approach, as explained by PC World:
First announced in January, Brave is a web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android that has ad blocking built in. But instead of eliminating ads entirely, Brave wants to replace them with speedier, non-intrusive ads from its own network. Users who agree to see these ads will then get paid in bitcoin.
Yes, it’s a good idea.
Brave could restore significant levels of commercial sanity and productivity to online advertising. The big issue is the degree to which online ads have antagonized the viewing public.
A few of the problems:
1. Ad blocking is now almost compulsory because intrusive, noisy ads are everywhere. It’s like Buzzfeed as created by a deaf lunatic who doesn’t believe other people actually exist.
2. Ad targeting is appalling. I did a check of the ads I see regularly, and I came up with a figure under 5 percent for even basic relevance to me. YouTube is one of the worst offenders, with few if any options, and no real choices.
3. Ad values are equally messy, largely because of the totally incorrect idea that users want to get blasted with recipes and other useless, unavoidable instant play features the second they hit a page.
4. Ad blocking decreases revenues and devalues Pay Per Click advertising.
5. Google has been stunningly unresponsive to the literal screams of outrage from users. Ad Choices could easily be upgraded to a much more valuable, instant fix asset for users. (You’d also think they’d at least recognize how this anti-ad revolution could neuter their core business.)
6. The result the above is that people now block ads as standard procedure. That helps nobody doing business online. It’s an own goal of colossal proportions.
I’m in the advertising industry. I do a lot of SEO work and web content in Australia and the U.S. Just about anyone in the industry could tell you that online advertising and “market efficiency” are barely on speaking terms.Given the hideously inefficient methods of delivery of scattergun advertising to people who don’t want (or need) to see it, the current train wreck was inevitable.
Ad blocking is literally self-defence for users. Online ads are to the Internet what ice is to society — an unnecessary, useless, overly aggressive, waste of time and money.
How many times have you been on a new page, to be confronted with a tide of pop-ups, video players, and other utterly irrelevant flotsam? Do you really want to buy a new SUV, right now? Does some uninvited loudmouth online attract or repel?
Yes, you should know better.
There aren’t too many credible excuses for this mess. Every pro in the industry does know better:
1. It’s been well known in advertising since at least the 1960s that people instantly discard 99 percent of the advertising they see, within a few seconds at most. Current levels of advertising genius subject users to 30 second of largely useless information. Wanna get people off your site ASAP? This is how.
2. A basic principle of marketing is positioning — you put the products where the target market will see them, because that’s where the buyers are. You do not put ads anywhere and everywhere because they won’t sell a damn thing. This current sewer overflow of crap is the exact opposite.
3. A business principle of both advertising and marketing, strangely enough, is that you don’t waste billions on ineffective advertising and marketing. This mindless saturation of useless advertising is incredibly expensive.
Paying users, however nominally, for their time, is also a kind of market research. How many users will actually watch a given ad, with a reward built in? It’s an interesting question.
Eich has created a new option which does deserve serious consideration by the industry. This could be tweaked to provide useful SEO/SEM data, and valuable material for site owners.
The bottom line here is that either the ads work, or the revenue models collapse. The idea here is to steer the advertising equivalent of the Titanic away from a vast field of icebergs, not just one.
Users are making a critical point. You can’t spend 20 years making fizzy statements about “user experience” and ignore this very clear level of high disapproval and disengagement — particularly when you’ve spent the last 10 years talking about user engagement, and particularly on social media.
It’d be a nice change, also, for the Masters of the Babbleverse to stop looking down on users and discounting core business values on the theory that they somehow know more than balance sheets and hard dollar value stats.
This is business, clowns. Check out Brave, see the options, and adapt or die.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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