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Tokenisation of Data Management Platform

~ ¼ of ad revenues is already lost to adblocking

The very fact of using a piece of an ad-blocking software appears to be a universal marker to identify users with advanced attention and IQ metrics. Although united by the ad-blocking factor, those users are not a uniform stratum that is easy to access. Their demographic and lifestyle diversities remain vast; they still need to be divided to conquer. To pull those viewers back into the equation, it takes a real experiment that involves value exchange in the entire user-publisher-DMP loop.

We want precise answers to who wants what and how much everybody is ready to pay. The natural market forces of supply and demand can show the exact design of things. The best way to plan a city park is to start with all-grass and let people show with their own footprints where the trails should be stone-paved.

We suggest an experiment to be conducted in parallel to the operations of the existing “normal” DMP and counter-adblocking businesses. This complementary process is designed the way that it should not harm the existing operations. We don’t think the online advertising industry can or should be “disrupted”. It is ultra-complex, opaque, and corrupt, just as any other real-life system. The “RTB mess” loses lots of value in friction and general entropy but it is the evolutionary norm.

Throughout his daily Internet use, a casual consumer has no particular monetary motivation. Basic indifference to advertising and to the value of personal data is the norm. By contrast, a typical webmaster has strong vested interests. Despite the imbalance of the trade, it is well tested. Users are not likely to care to “sell attention”. We only discuss seamless ways to place bids and asks for values involved. We don’t expect that any considerable fraction of users will care at all but the active minority is enough to demonstrate a noticeable pattern.

Incorporating Users

Consumers should be offered a free browser add-on and mobile app that include the two baits:

  1. the new, “right” ad-blocking tool which should look and feel as an upgrade to the one people already use
  2. the “automated” wallet for cryptocurrencies and tokens that is capable of pre-arranged small bids and asks and of collecting micropayments from vendors and airdrops, by itself.

The software will eventually improve targeting by creating streams of “tag & benchmark tokens”.

These non-fungible tag tokens can be created and sent to users’ wallets in return to normal online actions (page viewing, shopping, etc.). This difference of this type of data crowdsourcing is that it needs no maintenance. Of course, tagging tokens cannot immediately [or ever] replace cookies, but there are some aspects where they win right away. Most importantly, tokens are eternal, while cookies are temporary. Tokens are cross-device and cross-platform. Tokens can be passed over, as physical objects, for infinitely long, even when the Internet itself is unrecognizably changed. This provides for a different designer’s prospect, to start with.

Transferred-by-tokens data includes normal pieces every DMP has — “intentions” based on demographics and behavioral patterns — however, it also offers an entirely new dimension of value transfer component combined with results of surveys (done as a part of micro-auctions and simple bargains).

Token environment is open source, mostly free, and very flexible. Types of available operations include at least (1) creation of accounts; (2) management of account signers so different operations can have different quorum requirements; (3) creation of assets; (4) applying inflation to deploy a monetary policy or to mimic dividends, coupons, etc.; (5) payments and messaging; (6) connecting, merging, splitting accounts; (7) address-token-balance-based actions; (8) management of exchange bids and asks. The velocity of development can be timefolds of normal, since every competing team can both add to the pool of solutions and fence whatever sub-environment they need.

Incorporating Publishers

To participate in the loop, publishers install the software which is the upgraded version of what is known as “anti-ad-blocking”:

  1. specialised measurement and analytics tools to determine the impact of ad-blocking on the website
  2. forced placing of ads — the techniques that circumvent the tricks ad blockers deploy to wipe ads off a page
  3. re-engagement and communication tools to convince users to switch off ad blocking or to pay.

What differs the software from normal is the item #3, which now has the four options to process the pageview:

  1. no toll and free access,
  2. no toll and no access,
  3. direct payment with cryptocurrency or token transfer,
  4. payment done on behalf of third party.

Two-party deals (option #3 above) are no novelty, except for the ability to handle the new type of value transfer. Of course, some specific markers (i.e. digital certificates) are needed for both sides to recognize a potentially valuable deal. Certificates for a consumer are comprised of survey responses and feedback for a given advertisement. Certificates for a content provider are essentially an accumulated user rating.

The third-party-involving deals (item #4 above) is a novelty. It is, in a way, “franchising” (spreading) the DMP activity to many small providers who have access to limited audiences. It is crowdsourcing for data management that has become possible because tokenised business calculus is very cheap and open to everyone.

Consumers and webmasters use their connection to a data manager, who becomes an intermediary for the potential deal. One-time access keys should allow to broker ad deals. Such “local” DMP manages can give birth to many paid for arrangements that otherwise would never take place.

If paying on behalf of a third party, webmasters might enjoy some additional income from the brokerage. Advertiser’s instruction may sound like this: “Should you come across a “competent” user, please pay him — not more than this much — and display the ad.” The trade system should allow webmasters to try to automatically bargain a better deal and keep the difference.

In this exchange, a website may offer a default “reward” — free content for a consumer — and also an individual “reward” that is being defined based on the balances of tag tokens owned by both the consumer and website. This individual reward can be literally anything: goods, services, discounts, other privileges.

“In return for” the rewards from a website, the consumer observes ads and allows performing the work on the data that helps the further improvement of targeting for later advertising. The component of mutuality is important. The interfaces for all modules should have the options to conduct a “slow dialogue”: a user may be prompted with short surveys or single questions. This may be based on watched ads, recent browsing history, previous answers, etc.

Incorporating Supply Side

Supply-side platforms were historically set to managing many types of ad inventory, so adding token specifics would be nothing revolutionary for these organizations. Many services accept bids even from non-RTB enabled demand sources so they can be expected to naturally get into the new loop as well.

Two price standards can co-exist. One price is a usual one that depends on user/publisher qualities and the other price takes into consideration that part of the payment has to be forwarded to the consumer.

Within the RTB framework, supply-side platforms have been developing primarily as algorithm-driven systems used by online ad sellers to monetize unsold ad inventory. Sellers used to employ SSPs mostly to increase the value of indirect ad inventory through yield optimization techniques.

What might be especially remarkable about tokens is that compatible SSPs will provide sellers with opportunities not only to pinpoint and bundle specific segments of audiences but sell individual ad impressions at premium rates to premium consumers. Typically that can be achieved only by direct ad sales (in-house ad sales division working with ad agency).

DMPs are normally expected to adhere to self-regulatory practices established for online data collection and supply consumer privacy controls in order to maintain trust with agencies and consumers alike. All of the major DMPs offer opt-out tools for users. In contrast, token-based user-data is always protected and can only be released via micropayment (in some case, with a certified promise of the payment). Instead of a primitive opt-out switch, we offer users a complete UI to control the data flow. Thus, consumers may move themselves up in the user-level stats indicated by the compatible SSP tool. SSP operators will clearly see the accumulated effect of token-enabled consumers in terms of revenue acquired by an SSP.



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