Data Grabbing No More-Blockchain Positioned to Overhaul The Online Advertising Sector

Long before the TV and Radio became the known mediums for advertisement, the ancients would carve their messages on stones and trees or walk for long distances singing and playing drums and flutes. Back in those days, many people did not know how to read, and therefore the messages would be in the form of images associated with the subject of the advertisement.


In fact, it was not until in the 19th century that advertisements started to appear in newspapers.  A century later, TV and Radio emerged as the most preferred mediums with the first ad to aired on TV occurring on July 1st, 1941.Fast forward to the 21st century and the internet has taken over as the most popular medium for advertisement. Today, digital marketing is estimated to be worth over $300 billion and is expected to grow to $335 billion by 2020.


But now with the blockchain technology making a grand entry into the sector, the industry is bound for an overhaul.  Unlike the conventional mediums, the distributed ledger technology’s aim is to shift the power of the game from a few centralized institutions to the masses. In the conventional internet advertising model, corporations such as Google and Facebook make money by harvesting users’ data and using it to generate advertising insights for businesses. Here, the actual owner of the data gets nothing in return and in many instances, the data is used without their knowledge for things they wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable with.


Blockchain can change this by altering the model on which social media is run. By providing platforms where internet users will be able to surf the internet without fear of their data will be stolen and also by giving users the option to sell their data of their own accord directly to advertisers.  Simply put, with blockchain, people could be rewarded for sharing their information and will be able to get to choose as to the extent of the sharing and with whom.  


For instance, Kind Ads, a blockchain-based startup is working on a project that will enable internet users to control how their data is used and get compensated when they choose to share it with Advertisers. The platform also seeks to enable advertisers to identify and reach out to high-quality publishers in their niche and market directly to their audience in a less intrusive fashion.


Kind Ads aim is to create value for internet users, advertisers and publishers by enabling meaningful collaboration consented to by all parties. With the Kind Ads platform, publishers will be able to build a mutually beneficial relationship with their subscribers by providing content to them and rewarding them for opting to have their data used for marketing intelligence. The publishers will then recommend the advertisers' brands to their audience and get rewarded in the process. Giants like Facebook and Google keep the lion share of the money from advertising and removing the middleman in this instance would mean much faster compensation for publishers and little to no fees for advertisers.


Another example is Endor, a blockchain platform powered by AI and Machine Learning and founded by engineers from MIT.  The project provides a platform where businesses can get highly accurate marketing insights by asking predictive questions in plain language the same way we search for information on Google.


With the combined power of AI, Machine Learning, and blockchain, the project will be a big advantage for small businesses which until now have been locked out of the big data game due to the high costs involved. Internet users, on the other hand, can trade their data on the Endor network and get rewarded in the process.


As the big data regulation landscape continues to change, publishers and advertisers have no option but to turn to blockchain solutions or else carry the burden and the risks of regulatory compliance. Big data regulations such as the upcoming GDPR are bound to change the way businesses conduct online advertising, and without the solutions such as the ones presented by the blockchain, compliance will be an uphill task.


The businesses that will be among the first to adopt the blockchain powered solutions will not only save costs but will have an opportunity to build lasting relationships with their customers. While the internet has done its best in presenting products to the people it has failed to create value for everyone and has instead created inequalities. The blockchain technology is here to bridge that gap by moving the power from a select few to the masses.


One of the most innovative features of blockchain technology is its ability to give users control over their data so they can build safe and meaningful relationships without compromising their security or privacy.