This Company is Forging a New Path for Digital Advertising with a Focus on Consumer Consent

Privacy-first browser Brave is expanding its digital advertising program to mobile devices. People interested in Brave can now use it on Android devices in addition to desktop.

Brave’s approach to advertising is innovative because it allows users to choose how many ads they would like to see per hour (none, one, or five, for example) and provides them the opportunity to share in 70% of the revenue generated by those ads.

As of now, users cannot pocket cash from the ads they see. For now, revenue sharing for Brave users means redirecting some advertising profits to preferred publishers, YouTube creators, and Twitch streamers. But the company is planning on releasing features soon that allow Brave users to redeem rewards at participating advertisers.

This is an example of how privacy-forward digital advertising business models that foreground consumer content can work for all parties. Users are not tracked all over the Web and choose how many ads they would like to see; they will also soon get rewards. In return, advertisers can be sure that the people seeing their advertisements are actually interested in looking at ads, and they can also boost loyalty or reach new customers by offering rewards for ad viewing.

Perhaps most importantly, with GDPR in place for more than a year and CCPA and other state privacy laws in the works, advertisers and platforms are less likely to get sued.

Brave’s rewards for users also provide another example of how blockchain can support progressive business transactions. The company’s Basic Attention Token, built on the Ethereum blockchain, is the medium of exchange in its digital ad marketplace. Brave provides advertisers information on where browser users allot their attention, and advertisers pay both publishers and consumers in BATs. User information remains private.

Brave’s use of blockchain and focus on privacy and consent in the digital ad space are likely to draw parallels to Killi, a solution cooked up by attribution firm Freckle IoT that allows consumers to control how much information they provide to advertisers in exchange for compensation. Both are using blockchain to make a more privacy-oriented digital experience that still allows advertisers to sell their products and get paid.

We can expect to see more companies following their lead as the wave of privacy legislation keeps getting stronger.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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