The Brave browser’s plan for ad-switching and paying viewers to see the new ones has made many publications very unhappy. Imagine that. There are plenty of ad-blocking programs and the online content industry is significantly concerned about an increasing number of people skipping the ads that, in the end, make the content possible. The reaction to ad-switching, however, reaches a whole different level of a “not-on-my-dime-buddy” mentality, according to The Financial Times. Brave is arguing that its tactics benefit all parties, but online publications aren’t buying it.
What’s at stake is money, of course. Advertisers aren’t too happy to pay for a banner ad on breaking news stories only to find the space is hijacked by another company or even a competing brand. Brave, a web browser from a Mozilla (Firefox) co-founder that launched this year for mobile phones and computers, claims concern for viewers’ privacy and time, the latter eaten up by slow-loading, data-heavy ads. Instead, Brave wants to start placing ads that load faster and use less bandwidth and pay users to view them.
The Brave plan pays viewers 15 percent of ad revenue, site publishers 55 percent, and 15 percent each to the advertisers and Brave. Viewers will be paid in bitcoin, which adds another confusing dimension to the whole arrangement.
The online publishers, however, aren’t having it. Citing copyright infringement, the publishers are pushing back hard. The Newspaper Association of America, representing 2,000+ American and Canadian newspapers, has taken a public stance against the Brave plan. NAA leadership has stated that Brave’s defense of its scheme is akin to saying, “I will take $10 out of your wallet and give you $5; aren’t you happy about that?” Seventeen NAA members have sent a cease and desist order to Brave, accusing it of essentially stealing their content.
Brave’s stance sounds like one of flustered bewilderment at the fact that everyone doesn’t see how they all win. “We categorically reject the claim that browsers perform ‘republication’, and we repeat that Brave has a sound and systematic plan to financially reward publishers,” the company says. “We aim to outperform the invasive third-party ads that we block, with our better, fewer, and privacy-preserving ads.”
Don’t come to my house to play a game and change the rules. That’s not polite. Even worse, don’t come into my store, replace the goods for sale, price them yourself, change the business model, and then expect me to be thrilled that you’ve implemented a whole new system that insist will be better for us both.
Can there be any wonder publishers are disputing Brave’s new world?