The Internet is one big advertisement platform led by Facebook and Google. Brands want to get your attention while social media wants to increase your engagement. This is how users are targeted for advertising. In the process, while a user is engaged, their data is collected for analytics. This is not exactly with your full consent, but nonetheless the data you are providing makes you a product to marketers so they can sell you their products much better.
It has become a market for more and more attention. The problem is that it is becoming dominated by middlemen and other intermediaries. When you view a post that is for targeted advertising, there can be so many layers underneath that gather your data for their intents and purposes. Sometimes bad actors are also involved and this leads to massive fraud. Cambridge Analytica is just one example of using analytics to try to influence users on Facebook. Social media is a more common ground for bad actors to not only gather data but influence users to make decisions to not only buy products but to do things based on their politic and beliefs.
The system is full of “malvertisement” and both affiliated and unaffiliated links that can lead to malware and viruses. Yet there is no service actively protecting users from these dangers. For advertisers and publishers, the middlemen involved can also be costing them money. Ad spends are thus not being used efficiently. The Internet is full of bots that automate clicks, likes and comments, it is becoming more difficult to gain organic engagement. This is when a new platform for digital advertising is needed.
The BAT cryptocurrency token is a solution that addresses the problem with digital advertising and browsing on the Internet. It is an open sourced, decentralized ad exchange platform. It aims to remove the middle man by directly linking advertisers and publishers to the users. It is called the BAT triad or triangle. The BAT platform comes with its own web browser called Brave that comes with an integrated digital wallet for BAT tokens.
The idea behind BAT is to have advertisers and publishers target you directly with your consent to get your attention. In return, the user is incentivized in BAT tokens for engaging the content. This also saves advertisers and publishers money because they are not going through a layer of intermediaries or middlemen. According to the Basic Attention Metrics (BAM) “To improve the efficiency of digital advertising requires a new platform and unit of exchange.” BAT is the token used to connect the marketplace of users with advertisers and publishers. It is based on Ethereum technology so it makes use of smart contracts stored on a blockchain.
According to the white paper “Attention is measured as viewed for content and ads only in the browser’s active tab in real time. The Attention Value for the ad will be calculated based on incremental duration and pixels in view in proportion to relevant content, prior to any direct engagement with the ad.” In return for attention, according to the BAT website “Users viewing ads will be rewarded with BATs. BATs can be used for premium content or services on the BAT platform.“
The BAT metric is based on the following formula:
Where a = 13000, b = 11000 and duration is measured in milliseconds. This is the score that determines how long a publisher gets the attention of the user. This is based on what is called the concave score. The scores reward publishers and advertisers for the user time spent on the website, with diminishing returns for longer views. The minimum threshold is 25 seconds duration for a score of 1. These metrics were determined by the BAT project team, so they are not a standard metric for attention so to speak.
The good thing about BAT is that it provides more privacy to users through a feature called the “Anonymity Shield”. This is unlike what browsers like Chrome are allowing with extensions that collect user data. For advertisers and publishers it minimizes fraud and useless ad spends. They can minimize costs and better use their resources for directed marketing. It also provides better tracking because of the blockchain. With the problems in data privacy becoming a more important issue, the significance for BAT is that this is a good option for those that would require these features.