By Blockchain, Fraud Won’t Be Able to Steal Digital Ad Revenues

By Ritwik

New statistics show that digital promotion spending globally will reach a total of 335 billion dollars in 2020. While remarkable, the digital media landscape is rife with issues due to a deficiency of supply chain transparency. As a consequence, digital ad fraud increases annually. Even with automated advertising technology designed to professionally power digital advertising on publishers’ sites, challenges keep on.

In short, advertisers are losing billions of dollars each year. It’s been estimated that advertisers lost $42B of advertisement spending globally in 2019. This year, revenue losses are probable to increase to over $45B due to supply chain inadequacies  & losses from the coronavirus pandemic. By the year 2023, digital advertisers might realize $100B in revenue lost per year.

Chad Andrews, the global solutions leader for publicizing & blockchain at IBM, told that blockchain technology could help address several challenges with the advertising supply chain, more precisely, provide transparency regarding were & whether adverts are being seen or not:

“Advertisers  & their agencies need to deliver digital ads across many thousands of media properties, culminating in millions, or even billions of delivered impressions. To achieve this at scale, a vast, complex technology ecosystem of intermediaries is needed. Blockchain’s unique ability to serve as a decentralized, neutral ledger for all fees  & summary ad fulfillment data, as well as a platform for verifying identity, make it an effective solution for the problem of wasted ad spend.

Rendering to Andrews, the number of intermediaries involved in the advertising supply chain — together with demand  & supply side, data management platforms  & online real-time bidding exchanges — creates complexities. Furthermore, other intermediaries use their data to identify, buy, mark-up  & resell advertisement inventory.

Andrews noted that these complexities & a deficiency of transparency make advertising much more exclusive.

“To get an ad onto linear television, advertisers pay around 2%–3% of each ad dollar for implementation costs. To get a digital ad on a website, advertisers may pay 25% or more,” Andrews commented.

Andrews distinguished that blockchain technology works to illuminate each vendor’s actions, fees  & value-add while verifying their identity  & other data. In chance, this can help ensure contracts have been pleased.

For instance, Andrews mentioned that an advertisement contract might have custom terms for reaching specific audiences, appearing only beside brand-safe content  & being viewable for a minimal amount of time. By collecting info from each vendor at the time of ad delivery, it’s imaginable to compile this information across multiple agencies, geographies  & platforms.

“For the first time, blockchain makes it conceivable that advertisers will only pay for what can be verified at the time of delivery to be quality, authentic impressions,” held Andrews.

Blockchain technology in the real world

This in mind, blockchain technology has been gradually but surely starting to be applied to solve inefficiencies in the digital advertising industry. For instance, AdsDax, a self-serve advertising platform, uses a blockchain to bring the alliance to the several parties involved in the publicizing sector, together with the consumers.

Ryan Davies, the chief product officer of AdsDax, stated   that the company is specifically looking to reduce fraud in the ad industry by leveraging blockchain technology to remove intermediaries in the advertising process while providing transparency through time-stamped  & substantiated the events:

“AdsDax uses Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology to record ad events, such as performance data  & ad inventory, to an immutable, verified ledger. Advertisers can then view these time-stamped events to audit the information from their campaigns in real-time.

He distinguished that while this seems like a relatively simple feature, it provides an opportunity for advertisers that had previously not been able to access performance data in real-time:

“Events coming directly from a user’s device  & going straight onto a ledger is a massive boost of trust in companies’ data.” He went on to add: “As of Aug. 19, we have tracked over 1.2B ad events on the Hedera Hashgraph mainnet, executing over 239M transactions  & are averaging 1.3M transactions a day.

AdsDax is likewise looking to incorporate competences to reward users with cryptocurrency for sharing their data with advertisers. In accumulation, new features are being implemented to safeguard that consumers have additional control over their data. Such structures are also being demonstrated by the Brave Browser, which uses its Basic Attention Token (BAT) to reward users for watching advertisements on the platform. Brave Browser has been encountered with success, as new research from blockchain analytics firm Flipside Crypto displayed BAT to be the utmost used ERC-20 token in the DeFi sector from June 19 to July 2.

Novel Blockchain Solutions Under Development

In accumulation to platforms like AdsDax that are already logging transactions, new blockchain solutions are being built to solve the ongoing challenges facing digital advertising. For instance, on Aug. 20, MadNetwork, a custom-built blockchain for enterprises in the advertisement tech space, proclaimed additions to its product roadmap.

Adam Helfgott, the founder of MadNetwork, said that MadNetwork was launched in 2018 on the Ethereum blockchain to create a series of products  & partnerships that would reshape the relationships between consumers  & advertisers. Nevertheless, due to the ever-changing digital advertising landscape, Helfgott elucidated that new capabilities were essential for the scaling of the network:

“MadNetwork released a new white paper outlining plans for a layer two sidechain on Ethereum. The network uses Ethereum for security purposes. But we realized that lots of the foundational pieces needed were not available in Ethereum. For example, data availability is a big piece element of the advertising world,  & it’s expensive to write data on Ethereum.

Helfgott elucidated that the new solution being developed will serve as a verifiable data source for enterprises, providing key structures such as data expiration  & garbage collection. Furthermore, MadNetwork doesn’t require data to be immutable, which, according to Helfgott, is key for enterprises in the digital advertising space because so much data is generated from ad impressions per month. He held,

“Television ad impressions can reach about three hundred billion impressions per month. Tracking all of these impressions will take up a lot of space,

Rendering to Helfgott, the MadNetwork token, known as MAD, is used to secure space for data storage  & enables smart contract executions on the network. Miners are salaried to stake tokens for storing data  & to garbage collect when the stake expires.

Helfgott additional was distinguished that a company’s digital identity is epitomized by a public or private key that safeguards several digital assets, or the data,

“So, if a broadcaster wants to transact in this network, they would need to run a node  & produce keys for their digital assets,” he mentioned.

Unite to deliver

AdLedger is a nonprofit consortium working to build open technical standards for the application of blockchain  & cryptography for media  & advertising. It has been working to define the rules of good  & bad behaviors demonstrated by various digital identities as part of the group’s forthcoming open standard on top of the MadNetwork. This ensures that network participants don’t exhibit fraudulent behavior.

Christiana Cacciapuoti, the executive director of AdLedger, told that because AdLedger codifies rules to govern a company’s digital identity, a standard is created for how public  & private keys are issued  & eventually submitted through the digital advertising supply chain.

Cacciapuoti further mentioned that a significant partnership is in the works to demonstrate how MadNetwork can be used to combat ad fraud, eliminate intermediaries  & create better supply chain transparency.

Crypto may drive adoption

While it’s clear that blockchain technology can bring much-needed transparency to the digital advertising sector, real-world use cases that incorporate crypto may eventually drive mainstream adoption.

Davies mentioned that while the biggest hurdle for AdsDax was creating a technology fast enough  & cost-effective for enterprises to leverage, the next step for mainstream adoption will be through cryptocurrency. He explained that as people start to use crypto in their everyday lives, the opportunity to replace fiat payment elements has come about:

“Features in development for the consumer element of our platform, which rewards users with cryptocurrency  & provides users with ways to use that currency for real-world goods  & services, is a massive step in the right direction.

Echoing Davies, Helfgott mentioned that the crypto industry is currently experiencing a second wave of innovation, which may provide enough reasons for institutions to adopt cryptocurrency. In turn, new features to move value digitally will become a growing concept in the digital ad space. “We think the advertising space can ultimately build out the foundational pieces of mass adoption for blockchain,” he said.

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