Note: In 2017 we are focusing on the Basic Attention Token (BAT), and the ecosystem that it will enable, offering users and publishers a better way to fund the Web. With BAT (along with staking users with a share of tokens), Brave will work to offer privately-matched, anonymously-verified ads as an option to our users.
Brave is working with verified publishers (hundreds of whom have already joined via publishers.brave.com) to help generate greater revenue per user than they receive from today's broken ad-tech ecosystem.
The following content describes a 2016 proposal for a private and anonymous third-party ad-replacement system. We are pleased that it generated an informed and vital debate regarding the problem of uncontrolled trackers and ad exchanges, which in the worst cases spread malware through unaware publishers.
What is Brave Ad Replacement?
Brave’s goal is to speed up the web, stop bad ads and pay publishers. One of the ways we plan to accomplish this is with ad replacements. We will also invite users to fund their wallets and to use those funds to pay the publishers of their favorite websites.
Step One: Brave Blocks All Bad Ads and Unwanted Tracking
Why: Advertising has become overrun with ads that slow down the internet, take up ridiculous amounts of space on a page and sometimes even deliver malware. Users are responding by installing ad-blockers. A faster, safer web relies on blocking the worst ads and all trackers, which makes your web browsing both faster and more private.
In the image below, the red squares represent normal, slow, and often harmful ads that aren't very effective. Dark grey ads are 1st party ads which remain on the web page.
Step Two: Brave Replaces Ads
We recognize that ads pay for most of our web content. Ads are not going away. So we replace the bad ads with Brave Ads, which we use to pay publishers and users. Brave Ads use anonymous protocols — not tracking pixels — to confirm impressions (details about anonymity coming soon). And unlike the ads we remove, Brave ad replacements have a negligible effect on loading performance.
In the image below, we see the same web sites as those above, with ads replaced using Brave Ads from our ad network partners (represented in light grey).
Replacing ads means our users get a share of the gross ad revenue. Brave will pay users 15% of gross ad revenue. This is the same amount of money that we make from those ads (the rest goes to publishers and ad content partners.) And if you are feeling generous, you may route your earnings back to the sites you browse, and even add more through the use of a Brave wallet, administered through BitGo. In exchange for your generosity, we will block all of the ads on the sites you choose to pay.