The Future of Digital Advertising — $GOOGL ​vs $BAT.X

Kyle Rose
3 min readJun 8, 2022

The digital advertising market is dominated by Alphabet(Google) and Facebook. eMarketer projections showedGoogle having a 29% market share of digital advertising at year end 2021, equally as dominant Facebook maintains a 23% share. Accounting for more than 80% of their revenue($147b in 2020) this is Google’s golden goose.

Why would it change and what’s wrong with it?

Middle men — Advertising successfully with Google Ads is not easy. There are over ten certifications and 40 tutorials found on Google’s own website. Naturally, with something so complicated people offer the process as a service. “Pay me money and I’ll manage your digital advertising”, thousands will do so on Fiverr and some of the larger companies are worth hundreds of millions, granted this isn’t all the larger companies do, many manage the total advertising and direction of your brand but they’re forwarding a portion of your payment directly to Google to account for the advertising spend. Think of it like you paying for billboard space and art all in one meaning the companies are required to up-charge their work to account for Google’s(the billboard’s) share.

Ineffective strategies — Targeting and knowing what users are looking for is tricky, which is why many companies have started to implement CDPs(customer data platforms). These are effective mechanisms to track user behavior across your website or platform to categorize exactly what a user is looking for and how many steps it takes for them to get there based on a particular ad. Twilio acquired Segment, a platform which enables companies to classify their users and build effective advertising campaigns based on user behavior. Prior to these models and data based approaches which are still beginning to take off it was and still largely is a landscape convoluted with best practices and manually based reporting so your advertising spend is often misspent on ineffective ads.

Privacy — Google’s pushback for removing cookies is due to a lack of support via the W3C. Their proposals do not address any of the main concerns the W3C has raised and therefore they will not approve any of their suggestions. The W3C is the standards body governing many browsers and APIs developers use on the web. Currently 8 in 10 users are concerned about the amount of data companies collect about them and 20% report deactivating social media due to a lack of trust with their data.

Brave offers a solution to these problems and is growing rapidly. See their white paper for a much more detailed overview but I’ll attempt to tl;dr here.

Payments are made directly to browser users for their attention. Content publishers are now incentivized to publish long form engaging content, not click bait per view based compensation. A user’s traffic is anonymized, hashed, and a profile is created lacking PII. The information is always stored client-side, never server. This hash is associated with an advertising profile and ads are fetched based upon this hash. Users always opt-out of advertising, if they choose to opt in the user is paid for seeing ads from advertisers as a percentage of their time. Websites, streamers, Tweeters, YouTubers etc can become “Brave Creators” thereby allowing brave to place ads on their sites and content allowing them to receive revenue for the attention users give their sites.

I have been personally using the Brave browser for over two years now and my internet bill is completely subsidized via the advertising I see at the current token price.