Privacy-Minded Web Browser Brave Introduces Its Own Ad Network

Offering to ā€˜deliver effective advertising while giving users privacy and controlā€™

The company claims Brave Ads is 'separate and supplemental' to the existing ecosystem. Brave
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Few in the industry would disagree that online advertising needs to change with the status quo of the discipline up for debate, including everything from data-mining practices to methods of delivery.

The debate is varied, with growing rates of ad blockingā€”47% of the public now does so, according to GlobalWebIndexā€”and U.S. lawmakers preparing to emulate their European counterparts with many expecting legislation similar to General Data Protection Regulation before long.

Today, the contentious web browser Brave, one of the most vocal critics of contemporary industry standards, unfurled its own ad offering, Brave Ads, a solution it claims will help redress the value exchange of ad tech.

Those using version 0.63.xx of the Brave web browser can opt in to Brave Rewards, the latest update to its advertising scheme that it claims will let 5.8 million monthly users preserve their privacy while helping brands better engage with audiences.

Brave, the brainchild of Brendan Eich, the Mozilla co-founder and creator of Javascript, claims to proffer a better value exchange between advertisers and consumers by allowing consumers to keep 70% of the ad revenue shareā€”Brave retains the remainderā€”by way of Basic Attention Tokens.Ā Brave users will be able to redeem their monthly BAT allowance for either online premium content or real-world rewards with brands that have partnered with the TAP Network, according to the company.

Brave asserts its latest advertising scheme helps protect users by preventing their data from leaking into the wider ad-tech milieu as it pairs users with brands on their devices, a method it states will minimize wholesale data collection which it likewise claims is at odds with GDPR principals.

A number of advertisers have signed on to program, including Vice Media, which is arguably the most high profile among them. Others include ConsenSys, Home Chef and Ternio BlockCard along with several ad networks. In addition, The Giving Block is working with Brave to provide ad inventory and test use cases for its partner charities and nonprofits such as the Human Rights Foundation.

Eich, Brave’s CEO said in a statement that Brave Ads is the first digital ad platform to protect usersā€™ data rights while rewarding them for their attention.

ā€œBrave Ads also aim to improve the economics and conversion of the online advertising industry, so that publishers and advertisers can thrive without the intermediaries that collect huge fees and that contribute to web-wide surveillance,” Eich said. “Privacy by design and no tracking are integral to our mission to fix the web and its funding model.”

Brave also says the venture is ā€œnot a replacement for current webpage ads,ā€ but rather a ā€œseparate and supplementalā€ network to the existing digital ecosystem which will surpass offline ads in terms of revenue generated in 2019 to almost $130 billion, according to eMarketer.

Likewise, it also claims the opt-in nature of the offering means audiences put greater trust in ad placements it helps facilitate. Patrick Duffy, founding partner of The Giving Block, claims Brave Ads produces ā€œdigital advertising that makes the people decision makers, not products.ā€

Meanwhile, Lin Dai, CEO of TAP Network, dubbed its partnership with Brave Ads ā€œpart of the new web 3.0 movement.ā€

ā€œBrave is changing the paradigm of digital advertising where consumers are fairly rewarded for their attention,” he said.

Brave Ads is rolling out in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and the U.K., and in other countries soon. Brave Ads will be integrated into Braveā€™s Android and iOS apps in the coming months.

The browser company has been voraciously snapping at the heels of the online ad industry since the GDPR went into effect almost 12 months ago and with the similarly spirited California Consumer Protection Act coming in 2020.

The Brave web browser restricts third-party tracking software, a policy that makes it difficult for the programmatic targeting and delivery of ads, a policy that has similarly been implemented in Firefox by Mozilla as well as Apple in Safari. Adweek reported in March that Google is also considering similar policies for its more ubiquitous Chrome web browser, a measure that would have serious implications for the wider ad-tech sector.

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.