Dow Jones Media Group, a subsidiary of the publishing and financial information giant Dow Jones, has reportedly teamed up with ad-blocking browser startup Brave to test possible use cases for blockchain technology in digital publishing and bring premium content to broader audiences.
Just a couple of years ago, such media lynchpins as The New York Times, Washington Post or Wall Street Journal, the latter published by Dow Jones, by the way, called Brave’s ad blocking “illegal”. It seems that now the tables have turned under the new partnership a limited number of Brave users will grant access to premium content of Dow Jones Media Group outlets. These include financial news portals MarketWatch and Barrons.com.
Brendan Eich, CEO, and co-founder of Brave, who also happens to be a former CEO of Mozilla, stated that “These are large platforms where we think that the creators have been under-compensated and sometimes been taken advantage of. Our new model reconnects users and publishers without compromising privacy. We look forward to our users enjoying Barron’s and MarketWatch premium newsletters.” Brave is currently used by about 2 million people monthly and blocks ads and software that tracks online behavior in order to personalize ads.
Brave has successfully launched its $35m ICO a year ago and allows its users to donate its Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for their preferred publishers. As part of the agreement between two parties, Dow Jones Media Group will join Brave’s list of “verified publishers”. In exchange for interacting with content provided by verified publishers, users earn BAT tokens which can, in turn, be donated, used to unlock premium content or transferred to a wallet.
Brave has not launched its advertising system just yet but publishers are able to get some revenue already through donations. By default, Brave distributes BAT payments monthly, giving a larger share to the publishers, whose content you spent more time with.
The two companies have also announced plans to further experiment with a blockchain-based advertising network that will introduce “consent” ads that require consumers’ confirmation that they are interested in seeing the ad.
According to Mr. Eich, Brave is actually helping publishers by cutting out middlemen, such as Google, who take a significant portion of the ad revenue. He claims that “We’d like to improve the efficiency of that system by cutting out the middle players and help publishers directly connect to their readers.” Big players in the publishing industry such as The Washington Post, The Guardian or VICE are already accepting payments in BAT.
Unsurprisingly, following the announcement, BAT value has jumped by 24% to trade around $0.36 at press time.
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