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There’s already one large company out there that’s saved $1 million dollars doing it.

The “it,” in this case? Using a blockchain-based solution for advertising.

To be clear, we’re in the very early stages of this decentralized revolution, in general, and for marketing, in particular.

However, from the way the industry is shaping up, the first technology/market in the cross-hairs of this wave of disruption is ad tech.

The pain in advertising today

Recently, I had a great conversation with Stacy Huggins, CMO of MadHive (which focuses on OTT advertising). She tells me that for every $1 an advertiser spends on digital, they get about $.44 of value.

Why? Because of all the middlemen/intermediaries that have become part of the digital ad ecosystem.

MadHive has a plan to help publishers get some of that value back. And, in this solid video about the Basic Attention Token, we learn from Brendan Eich (who hasn’t done much in his life aside from creating Java Script and Firefox) that we are literally paying nearly $23 per month per person to view ads. (BTW, get the Brave browser)

Oh, by the way, that payment comes with approximately 70 trackers that follow all of our movements.

Brendan thinks we should get paid to watch ads, not the other way around.

Where there’s friction, there’s opportunity

Bottom line, there’s a ton of friction and waste in the digital ad eco-system because of the number of intermediaries.

(If you want a tremendous overview on the existential threat to agencies, see Ben Thompson’s great piece, Ad Agencies and Accountability.“)

And what up and coming technology is inherently designed to remove intermediaries, friction, and cost?

Yep, you guessed it: blockchains.

That’s why companies like adChainNYIAX, and HubDSP are all jumping into the fray. And there will be more.

Still early …

Like I said, it’s very early, and there are certainly barriers to adoption.

  1. Ad tech is a market with a ton of entrenched interests and money at stake. Expect the “violent opposition” of Schopenhauer’s Stage
  2. The technology is still new and, let’s be honest, not quite proven.
  3. Even using digital tokens adds another layer of complexity for many publishers. Most people are simply not familiar with the concept yet. That will take time.

… But inevitable

The blockchain genie isn’t going back in the bottle.

Whether it’s one of these companies or the next wave that follows them, the efficiency and effectiveness of the solutions make it a foregone conclusion.

Throw in the additional benefits to the brand (i.e. potential to ensure your ads aren’t shown next to controversial content), and you have the makings of a pretty compelling value proposition.

Here we go. …

Jeremy Epstein is CEO of Never Stop Marketing and currently works with startups in the blockchain and decentralization space, including OB1/OpenBazaar, Internet of People, & Storj. He advises F2000 organizations on the implications of blockchain technology. Previously, he was VP of marketing at Sprinklr from Series A to “unicorn” status.

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