Bladtech (Blockchain+AdTech), although in its nascent stage, brings the potential of changing how the digital advertising industry works.
Most noted for being the foundation for Bitcoin, blockchain is being widely adopted in different industries, and has now made its way into the adtech Opens a new window space. Termed as Bladtech, blockchain’s implementation in adtech has enormous potential. It can change the adtech ecosystem by curbing significant problems the digital advertising is facing.
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger. It is a string of blocks, each consisting of data (For example, transactions), a hash (a unique identifier) and the hash of the previous block.
The data is shared across a peer-to-peer network where each user, called a node, maintains a self-hosted copy of the data right from the genesis block (the first block). Since multiple nodes verify each transaction, once the data is recorded in a block, it is tough to edit it. The reason being, if you try to edit a block, it changes its respective hash and the hash of its following blocks. Since the updated data at one node doesn’t match with any other nodes, it would ultimately get rejected.Â Anyone trying to manipulate the system would need to change the records at every node which is highly impossible.
And this is why blockchain is different from traditional technology. Instead of having a sole owner of data where a change in the main records would reflect it everywhere, blockchain distributes the authority to multiple users minimizing the risk of data manipulation.
The Traditional AdTech Ecosystem
The traditional adtech ecosystem is a network of ad servers, SSP, CDN, ad networks, ad exchange, agency trade desk, DMP, and DSP. All these components help advertisers show highly-targeted ads through publishers to their audience.
Publishers focus on serving and managing ad campaigns, collecting audience insights, gathering campaign data and providing a good UX in the process. Advertisers strive to serve targeted ads, understand their customers while measuring campaign results, and optimizing their ad spend.
Both parties need to pay the middlemen and adtech vendors, which siphons up a significant chunk of their marketing budget. AdTech has its own set of issues too, such as dealing with fraud, data privacy concerns, payments, transparency, banner blindness, etc.
Amidst all these concerns the ecosystem is currently facing, the emergence of blockchain in adtech promises to bring a paradigm shift in the way bladtech operates.
What is BladTech?
â€œBladTechâ€ is a portmanteau of two words â€“ blockchain and adtech. Blockchain solutions in the adtech sectors are aiming to solve the most common problems faced by advertisers and publishers.
How does Bladtech Work?
1. Battle Ad Frauds
According to a report by Juniper ResearchOpens a new window , advertisers will lose up to $19 billion in 2018 (9% of the entire digital advertising spend), approximately $51 million per day due to ad frauds. Different types of ad frauds keep surfacing frequently.
Publishers dupe advertisers by showing invisible or hidden ads to their audiences, leading to high impressions but no results. Another way they do this is by displaying ads on deceitful websites that get a high amount of traffic, but again, yield no result.
Adware or malware deceive publishers and advertisers by highjacking clicks and ad slots or sending faux traffic to the publisher’s website.
Ad frauds also plague mobile apps. Click farms and install farms (Real people working for fraudsters) perform app installations and in-app actions on a massive scale that appear to be real, but they’re not.
All these frauds cost a bomb to the advertisers and tarnish the brand image of publishers. Blockchain attempts to put a stop to these fraudulent activities with the help of blockchain-based transactions. Advertisers can track ad impressions and crosscheck if the ad is shown to the right target audience.
Some blockchain solutions verify the legitimacy of publishers and provide them with a unique identity. Some products remove domain spoofing to curb malware.
2. Strengthen the Privacy of User Data
Data breaches have been a regular news feature nowadays. Cases like the Facebook â€“ Cambridge Analytica scandal or the recent British Airways data breach have created data security scare in the minds of users. The introduction of GDPR led to some relief, but it does not solve the issue of data breaches.
Blockchain solutions try to solve the problem of privacy by giving the ownership of the data back to the users. Users can now control who gets to view their data. They can further choose to share data and receive compensation in return.
The development of Token Economics takes it a step ahead by incentivizing users based on their data and engagement.
3. Promote Transparency
There is a long list of intermediaries and vendors between the advertiser and publisher forming an adtech supply chain. Since each intermediary and vendor charges for their services, advertisers end up paying much more than its actual worth. According to a TBR surveyOpens a new window , only 40% of digital buys go into working media, and the rest is split among technology vendors and agencies/intermediaries.
To increase transparency within the media supply chain, blockchain products aim to connect publishers, advertisers, technology vendors, and agencies to cultivate trust between them.
Certain decentralized marketplaces let publishers and advertisers transact among themselves using the cryptocurrency, another blockchain product. This omits the chain of intermediaries and ad vendors, allowing efficient allocation of digital advertising budget.
The Future of Bladtech
Transparency, data security, reduced risk of ad frauds, and little involvement of intermediaries makes bladtech a potent technological breakthrough. It would be fascinating to see how technology unfolds soon.