“Let’s face it, nobody likes ads,” Reggie Raghav Jerath, CEO and Founder of Gather Network, isn’t trying to be diplomatic. After all, that common irritation with online ads is also at the heart of its business model.
Gather is a platform that allows publishers to monetize without ads. How can you ask. The answer is via Blockchain technology. “Blockchain is changing the way we see the future. Publishers, digital creators all understand the role this plays in giving them ownership,” Jerath said.
Jerath began his career in oil and gas, where he managed a few bases inside and outside Iraq, leading a team of around 200 people. However, ISIS has invaded and captured most of the oil rigs. After evacuating the staff, he decided he wanted to change industries. He ended up working a bit in advertising. This is where he realized the problem with the traditional advertising model.
The traditional advertising model means publishers aren’t being rewarded as they should for their hard work, he said. “…and let’s not forget the most important question for advertisers: which ads drive which sales? This question is about where to spend the next advertising dollar, and it’s about evaluating the effectiveness or calculating the return on investment of the advertising world,” Jerath said.
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In the digital advertising space, advertising is a game of clicks and views. However, tracking which ad is driving the sales is the most difficult aspect. The traditional advertising industry relies on “cookies”, i.e. each website you visit, the duration, the time you spend – everything is stored to ensure advertisements are displayed to you accordingly . “People now realize nothing is free and marketers will continue to grapple with changing privacy regulations and the phasing out of third-party cookies,” he stressed.
With the opening of its operations in Gurgaon, Gather is now making a foray into India. “Gather’s main goal has always been to fix the internet’s broken business model.”
How does Gather Network work?
Gather Network rewards publishers by focusing on what it calls sessions instead of displaying ads. Any publisher or digital creator who has a website can simply paste the “Gather script” onto their website. When they do this, they actually transfer the computing power of the user’s device – minimum 5% – in exchange for GATHER cryptocurrency which can be converted directly into fiat. The longer the session duration, the higher the revenue generated by the publishers. “…let’s say for a model for a 30-minute session, the revenue generated could be up to 20 times greater than that of traditional advertising models.”
Is there a catch?
Many would think that transferring your computing power could slow down your PC or mobile device, and also lead to security risks. “This is where the blockchain comes in, every ounce of computing power we take goes through secure nodes, so there is no doubt about data privacy,” explained Jerath. “User data security has never been a major concern in the advertising industry. This is why the platform guarantees that user data is neither collected nor held by anyone.
However, there is one thing in common between the two models. As with any advertising model, Gather also wants users to spend more time on the site. While in the first case it increases the chances of ad clicks, for Gather the longer the sessions, the higher the revenue.
What does Gather do with computing power?
Jerath clarified that the computing power is used for its cloud business model as part of Gather Cloud. “Most of our revenue comes from the cloud business thanks to the computing power provided to us by users. This is also used for maintenance of our servers, possibly going back to publishers and as a reward for securing networks, creating a positive feedback loop,” he explained.
Clearly, the company’s goal of disrupting the digital advertising model will not sit well with advertisers. “Yeah, the ad industry probably hates us, but that’s not our view. We’re basically trying to give content creators more ways to monetize their content. Blockchain transformation is here to stay,” he concluded.