*The Attention Network post is a sponsored post as part of our ICO Whitelists Insider series.
Attention Network estimates that more than $50 billion USD will be wasted by advertisers this year due to ‘dishonesty and misguided spending’ – and smaller advertisers are being priced out of the market.
And here’s why.
In the online advertising marketplace, fees and margins are extremely high, and there is a widespread distrust and fraud in the industry. But that’s not the only reason for concern.
Attention Network believes that advertising policy hinders both the publisher and advertiser.
This is why they aim to provide a decentralized and more accessible solution with cheaper rates and a more flexible policy – positioning themselves as the third key player next to Google and Facebook.
With a view that smaller advertisers are priced out of the broader market, Attention Network aims to integrate ‘the entire space of programmatic and real-time advertising networks in to one beautiful user experience to make everyone more money’.
“Ad policy is becoming an increasingly interesting challenge for advertisers in particular, and in the cryptocurrency story, it has become an immediate issue,” says CEO of Attention Network, Giuseppe Burtini.
A seven-time published researcher, Burtini boasts 15 years of experience in the software and ad tech. industry. He recently led the technology team as CTO and Director of Technology at one of the world’s most innovative ad tech. companies.
“Facebook just banned cryptocurrency on their network, so the fact that we’re going to reach the cryptocurrency space as potential advertisers and publishers, I think there’s a very obvious opportunity here, as they’re actively being excluded from the traditional platforms,” he explains.
Integrating the existing ecosystem
The team plans to integrate and consume the existing “mainstream” advertising ecosystem to benefit their users. They have also secured partnerships with high-volume publishers and advertisers, and have some exciting news in the pipeline.
With Facebook and Google making up 70% of the advertising space globally, the remaining 30% is split among hundreds of companies, many of which have a minimum buy-in of $10 000 USD.
“Our path forward for adoption is to take all those little $10 000 spends and spend them on behalf of the advertisers on the platform. So on launch day, there’ll be about a billion impressions available to us,” he says.
“The way the existing bidding platforms work is that there’s a programming interface to consume the data, and we’re simply going to consume that and put it in our network. So we build our network around the existing network – providing a nice user experience in the process.
“Unlike some of the other options in the cryptocurrency space, like AdEx, from day one, we do expect to have a network of buyers and sellers in the system.”
With Facebook and Google taking up dominant positions, Burtini explains it’s at the cost of the smaller advertisers and publishers.
“Google takes a 30% fee straight off the top, and that is completely unnecessary. We can provide that side of the equation for less than 1%,” he says.
When it comes to ad policy, Burtini believes that Facebook’s approach is too inflexible.
“The angle we’re taking is that ad policy is not clear-cut right or wrong. Our goal is to produce a flexible platform with a democratically-emergent policy system, to allow a variety of rule sets to emerge.
“That means everyone is still satisfied – the advertisers are happy to promote their products and the brands are happy with how they’re promoted. And that’s actually a very strong sales pitch to a traditional advertiser.”
He adds that the follow-up angle is how poorly executed these bans are by Facebook and Google.
“I still see cryptocurrency in my Newsfeed, and that’s because they’re purely relying on machine learning and artificial intelligence. With us, there is incentive for humans to be involved.
“There’s a high level of interest in solving ad policy challenges and accessibility,” he adds.
The staking model
The utility of the token is that it can be used for policy staking, media buys, compensating publishers and voting.
Burtini explains that the biggest reason for Attention Network being on the blockchain is the staking model.
“The staking model is dependent on some supply management, on some meaningful governance model within the token. And on the nature of decentralization. If we can control the ad policy model, then we can censor it, and that’s undesirable,” he adds.
An all-star team
Burtini’s all-star team includes Niket Shah on the advisory board, who had a long-tenure at Facebook as an account executive. According to Burtini, Shah has connections which can’t be overstated.
“He knows everybody, he attends every single conference and knows everyone when he’s there – he’s a very well connected guy,” explains Burtini.
Brent Lachman, whose track record includes being the CEO of multi-million dollar boutique ad agency Strawhouse, recently joined the team as Chief Strategy Officer
He’s also got the founder of BlockCAT ICO, Eric Huang, on the team, in addition to Jake Davies, who spent the last four years leading innovative software teams in high stakes ad tech. environments.
And finally, award-winning economist B. Johannes Edinger, Dr. Scott Fazackerley and Yuchen Li.
An honest approach
Burtini is concerned with taking an honest approach to the token sale, and is keen to add that all the tokens are public. “There is no private sale,” he explains.
“We’ve got a really legitimate business here. There’s a real problem to be solved, and an actual solution. We want to focus on really becoming that third player in the advertising space. There’s Google, Facebook and hopefully there’ll be Attention Network.
“The adoption challenge which is going to be our primary focus. It’s going to be all we care about.
“We need to get real advertisers with actual demands. While that’s a big challenge, I think our technological investment will make it a lot easier. The value is there, and it’s hard for an advertiser to say ‘I’m not going to use this system’ when we can demonstrate that you’ll spend less money and get more back. That means the adoption pitch is quantitative and easy to evaluate.”
The token sale for Attention Network opens on February 15th at www.attentionnetwork.io.