Could Imgur be Brave’s next big partner?
Rumor Source: What Bitcoin Did Podcast with Brendan Eich on Fixing Digital Advertising
Recently, he went on the Podcast “What Bitcoin Did” and had a discussion with Peter McCormack around the problems with the online advertising industry. He also dropped a massive clue about an upcoming partnership by stating that a website which has an audience of 80+ million ad-blocking users and many more non-ad-blocking users, is ready to convert them to Brave. I believe that this partnership will be with Imgur. Follow along and see if you agree.
It’s clear that Imgur and many other publishers/content creators are struggling in the outdated advertising system today full of inefficiencies. Will Imgur realize this opportunity to right the ship and partner with Brave?
Hint of Brave Partnership with massive website w/ 80m ad-blocking users
On the podcast, he mentioned that publishers increasingly need to get two streams of revenue, 1 from ads which they are dying on and 1 from a light weight, low friction user paid model. This is where Brave/BAT comes in. Publishers and content creators will receive ad revenue and user contributions in BAT tokens. Publishers can recover revenue that with a pure ad-block audience they would never have had. Revenue would be going from 0 to positive as they’d generate income per month per user and eventually scale to all platform users.
Brandon Eich: “ I’m going to tell a story about a site which has 80 million ad blocking unique visitors per month. It has many more non ad blocking but it has a high ad blocking instance, and they are ready to try something with us that would convert those ad blocker users, some of those whom are using the corrupt ad blockers I just mentioned to you, take [inaudible] to let ads through, they’re ready to convert those users to Brave users. That’s a big growth opportunity for us, but it’s no joke for them because if they do convert we can use the batch from user growth pool to pay them a referral award for every new user that comes and sticks around with us. We’re doing that already, you can get a referral code, brave.com/refer. We will also give the users ongoing grants so they can give back to this site and when the ads system which we’re in user trials right now on, starts performing we can replace the grants with revenue shares from the ads as we’ve been talking about from the beginning.”
The full podcast is below. Fast-forward to 53:30 in the podcast to hear Brendan Eich’s hint
How Imgur fits with Brendan’s story
Imgur is an online image sharing community and image host. It has grown to be a top 15 ranked site in the U.S. by Alexa. The platform reaches 250+ million people per month and has billions of post views monthly. Imgur is driven by a passionate global community that votes the best content to the top. It is one of the largest, most concentrated and engaged communities of millennial males found on the internet.
84% of users are male and 74% of users are younger than 35. The platform sees very high engagement rates with 83% spending 3+ hours per week on the site and 17% spending 10+ hours per week on it. These young tech-savvy males are more likely to use ad-blockers and be one of the easier audiences to sell on adopting Brave.
As seen in the below graphic, the young male demographic has the highest adoption rate for ad blockers. If we take the 2017 MAU number of 250 million and Brendan’s statement of 80 million MAUs using ad-blocker, the ad-block rate comes out to 32% which aligns with the “high ad block instance rate” Brendan refers to.
These days social media is consuming the lives of many people and studies show that the more social media platforms we use, the less happy we are. However, certain platforms like Spotify, Imgur, and Netflix make users feel better after using them. These platforms have a common theme of focusing on entertainment, discovery, and helping users feel more relaxed. As a result, users are more willing to view ads which ultimately leads to more revenue for the publisher with the Brave model.
I did a quick search to get a feel for user sentiment around Imgur’s ads and the results were not pretty. Users have been complaining about the many trackers that follow them around on the site and the constant programmatic advertising. Also, there have been incidents noted of ads with malware and many app crashes from ad overloads. The following 3 screenshots are all from the last week and highlight how the community is growing incredibly frustrated with the ad surge and issues with Imgur’s current system. On the bright side, Imgur’s promoted posts seem to have a decent reception as the native ads are carefully catered to be similar to typical Imgur posts in order create a more frictionless experience when browsing the sites.
Fun fact: BAT Ads will match advertisements to users using client-side machine learning algorithms and locally-stored data. This means superior ad targeting with NO tracking or user data collection required.
Bonus: Maxence Cornet who created batgrowth.com, has also pointed out that Imgur has the Brave Publisher verification file on its server.
Imgur has ramped up its ad volume substantially and the quality of ads has fallen off a cliff. It’s struggling to produce revenues on the back of its no fee model. They raised $40 million in 2017 from Andreesen Horowitz but it remains to be seen how much more runway they have remaining. Revenue is recently down 66% for publishers. In order to avoid the same fate as other free photo/image hosting services like ImageShack and PhotoBucket, it’s time for Imgur to make some drastic changes from a monetization standpoint.
By partnering with Brave, Imgur as a publisher would receive 70% of ad revenue from indirect ads on their site in addition to revenue from user contributions. Keep in mind, Brave is running a referral program and creators get 5 USD worth of BAT for each user they bring to Brave. This incentivizes Imgur to convert as many of its users as possible to Brave.
Brave ads would serve as a happy medium given that users would have the ability to opt-in to view ads at frequencies they can set. Ultimately, users will earn BAT tokens for any ads in the BAT platform they see (“ad revenue sharing”). As the middlemen in the advertising industry are cut out, users will receive 70% of ad revenue for direct-to-user ads in separate ad tabs and 15% for ads that appear on publisher content. Users will be rewarded for their attention and can contribute to Imgur for time spent on the site viewing quality content. They would also have the option to cash out their BAT once the bi-directional wallet functionality is released.
The Brave/BAT sites are a good resource for learning more about benefits for the ecosystem. The Brave browser knows where users spend their time, making it the perfect tool to calculate and reward publishers with BATs. This service creates a transparent and efficient Blockchain-based digital advertising market. Publishers like Imgur would receive more revenue because middlemen and fraud are reduced. Imgur Users, who opt in, would receive fewer but better targeted ads that are less prone to malware. In return, advertisers get better data on their spending.
Do you think Imgur is the mystery partnership that Brendan referenced in the podcast? What are your thoughts on who the partnership will be with? Twitter and Yahoo are also viable candidates with huge user-bases that have been brought up. The timing of these cookie crumbs dropped by Brendan is very close to the recent addition of BAT to Coinbase and I believe Brave has major plans in store to close out a year already filled with many accomplishments. Brave has made several significant partnership announcements in the cryptocurrency space this year with one of the most notable being Dow Jones Media group. I’m excited for what’s next.
You can check out Brave Publisher stats via the below link to see for yourself how quickly the project is growing. Brave now has almost 29,000 verified Brave Publishers and is past 4.6 million MAUs.
Monitoring Brave Browser and Basic Attention Token (BAT) usage : Number of publishers, growth, metrics and statsbatgrowth.com
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The purpose of ALTCOIN MAGAZINE is to educate the world on crypto and to bring it to the hands and the minds of the masses. This article was written and composed by Alex Gedevani on ALTCOIN MAGAZINE.