Brave, the new web browser app for iOS, made a splash a few months ago when it was announced with a feature that would allow users to block ads in exchange for payment. The purpose is to allow privacy-minded individuals to browse the web without ads or trackers, but still help benefit publishers and the sites they visit. Now Brave has detailed the second half of the feature: the ability for users to get paid if they permit the browser to show them safe replacement ads.
The replacement ads from Brave come from their own ad network, and are said to be fast-loading, without any bloat, and free of malware and tracking software. Plus, they only begin loading after a website’s content has.
Brave Ledger is the system they’ve announced that will pay both publishers and users with Bitcoin. The company is still in discussions with advertisers and publishers, so not everything is set in stone, but an ad-matching partner would be choosing which ads are seen by users. With this method, Brave, the app users, and the ad-matching partner would each receive 15%, while the publishers would take 55%.
If users go the ad-free route, they’re charged a monthly fee, which is then distributed to publishers, with Brave’s ad network collecting only 5%. In either method, the funds going to the publishers are based on each site’s total traffic.
While it may sound attractive, there’s still a lot of hassle involved for interested users. A Brave Bitcoin wallet is required, and if users actually want to receive the money for viewing ads, they’ll need to go through several verification steps. Otherwise, the funds get donated to a favorite publisher. Likewise, publishers will also have to go through a verification process if they want to get paid.
There’s also the question if any big publishers will even go along with Brave’s system, as they usually have their own ad networks, which aren’t likely to play friendly. Plus, there’s still no mention of how much users will have to pay per month to block ads, or how much they can expect to receive for viewing ads. The whole thing sounds good in theory, but it seems unlikely to get off the ground at this point.