In a thus far revolutionary move, the Dow Jones Media Group, a subsidiary of Dow Jones and publisher of Barron’s, has signed a deal with the ad-blocking Brave browser. The deal is set to see Dow Jones’ publications become verified publishers, potentially allowing users to pay for premium content with its Basic Attention Token (BAT).
Two years ago, multiple publications, including the Wall Street Journal, itself published by Dow Jones, dubbed Brave’s ad blocking manoeuvres “illegal”. Aligning themselves with the New York Times and Washington Post, it seemed that such a stance was invariably set in stone.
Now, all of this has seemingly changed, as the Dow Jones Media Group is currently offering those who download Brave 24 months of free access to its Barrons.com website and/or to a premium MarketWatch newsletter.
Explaining their new position, Barron’s senior vice president, Daniel Bernard, said:
“As global digital publishers, we believe it is important to continually explore new and emerging technologies that can be used to build quality customer experiences.”
Dow Jones Media Group is not the only publisher who’s now on board. According to Brave’s Chief Executive, Brendan Eich: “Our discussions have become much better over the years. We’ll have other big publishers we’re announcing as partners.”
Brave is unique in that it not only blocks ads, but also has software that tracks online behaviour and passes it on to other entities. Now used by over two million people every month, its popularity shows just how seriously internet users take their security and privacy.
Brave’s BAT Token
Brave’s intention is not to put a stop to advertising entirely, but to deliver ads in a more privacy-sensitive way. This will eventually mean ad revenue for the publishers who invest in it, and with this in mind, a cryptocurrency-based payment system already exists.
The browser’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) is set to allow advertisers to not only pay publishers, but also subsume a portion of the proceeds and distribute them amongst all who use Brave. Although said system is not yet completely functional, publishers are already able to earn some revenue through users’ BAT payments.
Such payments are distributed monthly by Brave, who gives the lion’s share to sites with the most activity. As part of this scheme, publishers, YouTubers and Twitch video streamers can all sign up free of charge to mark themselves as being eligible to receive tokens form users.
Dow Jones Media Group will now become BAT verified publishers as a result of the deal signed on Wednesday, meaning it will be possible to pay for premium content with Brave’s BAT tokens.