- Brave, the privacy-focused browser that blocks ads and web tracking, has launched Brave Ads, an opt-in ad platform that rewards users for viewing ads, according to a company blog post. The platform launched for desktop yesterday (April 24) in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and the U.K., with mobile integration expected to arrive in the coming months.
- The browser alerts users that have enabled Brave Rewards when there is an opportunity to view a full-page Brave Ad. In exchange for viewing Brave Ads, users receive 70% of gross ad revenue in the form of a cryptocurrency called Basic Attention Tokens, which can be redeemed for rewards, like hotel stays, restaurant vouchers and gift cards, via TAP Network's 250,000 brand partners.
- At launch, there is a campaign for "Artificial," a science-fiction series that is exclusive to Twitch. The Brave Ads catalog inventory is being supplied by existing beta testers BuySellAds, TAP Network, AirSwap, Fluidity and Uphold, with ads for Vice, Home Chef, Ternio BlockCard, MyCrypto and eToro. The Given Block is also providing ad inventory, including a campaign at launch for The Human Rights Foundation giving users a way to tip the organization through Brave Rewards.
Brave's ad-blocking browser has frustrated advertisers and publishers since it was launched in 2016, but is finding an audience of privacy-minded, ad-fatigued users — growing from 1 million monthly active users to 5.5 million last year. Still, it represents a drop in the bucket of desktop and mobile browser usage, failing to make StatCounter's global rankings.
The introduction of its Brave Ad platform could mend relationships with advertisers and publishers as it opens the Brave user base to select ads. Blockchain-based solutions have been held up as promising a way to deal with digital advertising issues like brand safety, transparency, privacy and ad fatigue. The technology has been slow to gain wide adoption but offerings like Brave reinforce GroupM's recent prediction that blockchain will become more viable in 2019 as the industry moves beyond the hype.
Brave plans to introduce publisher-integrated ads that will allocate 70% of revenue to providers, 15% to users and 15% to Brave. While the ads aren't generated by online searches or landing on a page, Brave does have data about its users that could help it target ads. For example, if a user has researched a product or travel destination, those signals could prompt an ad the next day, Brave CEO Brendan Eich told Ad Exchanger.
In addition, the publisher-integrated ads could be a boon to content creators that have seen digital ad revenues decline amid diminishing subscriptions and changes to Facebook's algorithm. Brave hopes that publishers will buy-in to its belief that ads can be targeted without third-party tracking, which it maintains is the "entry point for fraud and malware," according to Ad Exchanger.
For consumers that enable Brave Rewards, Brave Ads could be a source of revenue in the form of cryptocurrency reward points, giving TAP Network's brand partners another way to reach consumers. It could also attract the 85% of consumers that have used an ad blocker or are open to the idea, according to a joint study by OpenX, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and MediaMath that also found that eight out of 10 consumers preferred opt-in video to other ad formats.