Can Brave Browser Revolutionize the Advertising Experience Online?

Internet users are already speaking out against the problems in the ad industry by using ad blockers; maybe it's time for a change.

Internet users don’t like ads. They’ve long been savvy enough to ignore banner ads, and now they’re growing increasingly resistant to the presence of ads in their social news feeds, pre-roll ads before videos and sponsored content in mobile applications.

According to a survey conducted last year, 64 percent of them are using ad-blocker solutions, and 82 percent don’t care that it’s costing advertisers money. A new browser could make the ad market even more hostile to marketers.

Brave is the latest browser from Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla. The intention is to realign the ad industry by making the browser a gatekeeper between ads and internet users. Users will be able to avoid ads entirely, or view selected ads that conform to platform standards, which means no tracking, respecting user privacy and not unduly increasing page load times.

The hope for Brave is that advertisers will get on board, and that a new infrastructure can be created to support all parties involved. According to an official blog post, publishers would receive 55 percent of ad revenue, 15 percent would go to Brave, 15 percent to ad partners and 15 percent would go to users. Users would then be able to either keep that revenue, or to donate it to their favored sites; something like a tip for good content creation.

Unfortunately, the Newspaper Association of America reacted very negatively to this idea, calling it “blatantly illegal,” because it amounts to re-hosting content, which is a violation of copyright law. If Brave succeeds in upending the ad industry, it could deepen the impact of losses caused by ad blockers.

However, Brave’s sights are on third-party ad publishers—a sector of the market rife with fraud and already costing first-party advertisers billions of dollars. It seems the intention of Brave is to provide a better browsing experience for users and a sounder investment for advertisers, as well. Keeping malicious bots off the service by having a robust security infrastructure would make any ads that appear all that more impactful.

Given how entrenched the ad industry is, it’s unlikely that Brave will have an easy time bringing its new model to market. And there will almost certainly be legal challenges in the future. However, users are already speaking out about the problems in the ad industry, and it might be high time for a change.