Bitcoin touted as solution to ad-blocking software
Bitcoin and its underlying technology could be the solution for media websites that have encountered declining revenue because of the rise of ad-blocking software, reports CNBC.
According to data from PageFair, digital publishers lost an estimated $22 billion in revenue last year because of ad-blocking software, with approximately 198 million people worldwide using the technology.
The problem for publishers is likely to worsen as more and more companies plan to let users block online ads.
“Several companies have jumped on the ad-blocking bandwagon,” said Daniel Knapp, director of analysis at IHS Technology, to CNBC. “Ad blocking is an expression of massive consumer dissatisfaction with the way the ad industry works.”
One method to fund content besides advertising would be a system of micropayments in which users pay a small fee for each page they view, suggests David Schatsky, senior manager of emerging technology and business trends at Deloitte.
“You could have an option to not view advertising and instead pay a couple of pennies per page as you go,” said Schatsky to CNBC.
He said bitcoin-facilitated micropayments could be distributed to a publisher for time a user spends on their website. He told CNBC that bitcoin would make a micropayment system feasible because of its low transaction costs. Meanwhile, the blockchain would be able to maintain secured record of which pages were viewed and for how long.
The main attraction of a micropayment system would be to offer more choice to content consumers.
“Publishers who find a way of creating choice for users, most of whom are reasonable and recognize that it costs money to host content, you can imagine them opting into another program where rather than blocking ads they simply pay a nominal amount for the privilege of viewing content and they won’t see the ads anymore,” said Schatsky to CNBC.
The use case is sound but bitcoin probably isn’t up to the task. No one will wait for a bitcoin transaction to finish before ads are cleared, if it became popular the bitcoin network would be saturated and the transaction fees are already too high.
RaiBlocks is designed to handle that type of load and we have a live demo showing this exact user case. https://raiblocks.net/#/demos
The point that “most” users are “reasonable” (and therefore would agree to the option of making micropayments in exchange for viewing ad-free content) cuts both ways. Using ad blockers is reasonable when the cost of using the internet is outrageously unreasonable, the way it is here in the Philippines. Making micropayments would just be another added cost.