Falling digital ad spend prompts publishers to seek BTC peer alternatives

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© Reuters. Falling digital ad spend prompts publishers to look for alternatives

The digital advertising industry, like many others, is struggling to navigate deteriorating economic waters. Whether caused by rampant inflation, supply chain issues, interest rate fears or all of the above, the industry’s mood music is ominous at best. In a time of shrinking advertising budgets and deteriorating consumer confidence, it’s no surprise that many companies and publishers are taking stock and considering a new way of doing business.

Recent comments from the CEO of Snap (NYSE:), parent company of social media platform Snapchat, highlighted the difficulties faced by publishers who rely on digital ad spend. Evan Spiegel’s sentiments that the “macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than expected” clearly spooked investors, with stocks on social media plummeting rapidly thereafter.

Assuming Spiegel’s grim prognosis holds true, what alternatives might help shore up lost revenue?

Gather online: a new monetization model

The Web3 Gather platform thinks it has a solution. Earlier this year, the blockchain-based company launched Gather Online, a digital monetization tool for publishers and businesses looking to provide an ad-free browsing experience without losing money.

Apparently, Gather Online aggregates idle processing power from internet users – with their permission – and distributes it to companies for cloud computing, as well as to developers for cryptocurrency mining. As a result, website owners are able to generate revenue that would otherwise come from advertisers; site visitors enjoy a more enjoyable browsing experience; and businesses and developers have access to affordable and reliable processing power.

As the hardware layer of the protocol, Gather Online is only part of the company’s vast ecosystem, which is complemented by both a protocol layer (Gather Network) and an application layer (Gather Cloud) .

Gather’s innovative data monetization model means that revenue is derived based on the number of visitors to a website and the time they spend there, rather than the number of ads displayed. Visitors can also be rewarded with a loyalty program, encouraging browsers to spend more time interacting with a website or app.

Shortly after launch, Gather integrated popular MENA-based video-on-demand platform, Shoof Max, bringing its 9 million viewers as part of Gather Online. Unlike YouTube, Shoof Max doesn’t want to harass users with a constant barrage of irrelevant ads; instead, their implementation of Gather Online will ensure a smooth UX while distributing idle processing power from users to businesses and developers.

Gather CEO Reggie Jerath announced the deal and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to “eliminate unwanted reliance on online ad revenue for websites and apps around the world.” Shoof Max Managing Director Bashar Douba meanwhile announced Gather’s “tremendous potential” as it seeks to “explore the full spectrum of the platform’s capabilities to optimize and generate value from the viewing experience of our users”.

Bookstr is another digital media company that has turned to Gather since launching its monetization tool. New York-based company, which provides editorial and creative content to the book-loving community, integrates Gather Online to reward users for time spent on their website and open up a revenue stream that doesn’t depend on advertising budgets tight.

While it’s hard to predict the trends that will define the digital ad space two years from now, let alone five or ten years from now, Gather’s proposition clearly resonates with those disillusioned with the existing monetization model. Shoof Max and Bookstr are two of over 1000 customers using Gather Online at the time of writing.

Harnessing the processing power of end users with their express permission, in exchange for an ad-free browsing experience, is a bold idea, but one that represents a unique financial solution in an increasingly bleak economic environment.

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