Per a notice published on its official website, decentralized browser Brave has announced the launch of Brave Ads, a program that rewards its users for sticking around to watch promotional ads and videos. According to the notice, users of the browser’s latest version can opt-in to the Brave Ads program and watch “privacy-preserving ads.”
The company will reward users who participate in the program with a 70 percent revenue share on ads viewed. The rewards will be distributed in the form of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), a digital asset developed by the company and which can be used by users for various purposes.
The company notes that the brave Ads program allows customers to surf the web, support their favorite content developers, and earn rewards, all while keeping control of their privacy. Speaking on the launch, 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.”
The Value of BAT Rewards
At the end of every monthly usage cycle, users who view ads will receive their BAT rewards, which, for now, can be given to their most viewed websites or given to their favorite content developers on various platforms. In addition to that, Brave stated that it is “working on an option to let users withdraw BAT from their wallets for personal use, converting their BAT to local fiat currency through exchange partners.”
In an interview with TechCrunch, Eich said Brave has been reportedly testing the ads since January, with over 40 percent of desktop users already opting in to the program.
Brave also announced that it has partnered with The Giving Block to provide ad inventory and test use cases to non-profit and charity organizations that partner with the latter. The program, which already has notable participants like The Human Rights Organization, will present its users with messaging as an incentive to tip the organization via the Brave Rewards program.
Is it Viable?
As interesting as all of these sound, the Brave Ads platform does have some issues to contend with. For one, there’s the question of the ads themselves. The prospect of gaining tokens as rewards is still not enough to convince people to view ads; especially rewards with little to no practical use.
Eich admitted to TechCrunch that a vast majority of users who opted in back in January did so because of the anonymous browsing feature, which is the bedrock of the Brave browser. He also admitted that BAT is still not of much value to people, claiming that some users prefer to give it back.
Charitable as it seems, this purpose doesn’t sound sustainable. The platform will need to incentivize its prospective users, and frankly, charity-driven tokens simply won’t cut it.
Another issue with the ads is the run time. It’s still unclear how long users would have to watch ads if they intend to get a considerable amount of the BAT, but it’s highly unlikely that people will want to sit for so long do nothing but watch ads. Still, the mission here is to bring a fundamental change to the business model of most web-based companies. If the company can make the BAT much more valuable, then this launch could have benefits for all parties involved.