Advertising has been with us since the early days of the Internet. Only the shortest ad-free network has existed between the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989 and the emergence of the first banner ad in 1994. Ads have been a feature of the Internet ever since. Now offers and promotions spring from the corner of every page, taking up valuable screen space and resources.
With online ads now ubiquitous, it seems hard to imagine anything that could challenge the industry’s hegemony or dramatically diminish the market. Ad blockers can push adoption rates by around 30%, but they only offer a mitigation strategy for users, not an existential challenge. Now a much more fundamental threat to the industry has come in the form of the processor inside your computer. Understanding why requires an awareness of what advertising means not only to advertisers or customers, but also to content creators.
Ads and content creators
As much as online advertising can be a nuisance to users, advertising currently serves a useful purpose beyond business needs and driving consumerism. Advertising provides content creators with a way to monetize their content and a way to support their work in progress. The vast majority of online creators and publishers are only able to sustain their efforts with the financial support of advertisers.
For a considerable time, ad revenue was the only job in town, and creators had nowhere to turn. Now, Gather offers a new way to monetize, which rewards both creators and consumers of online content. Gather-enabled sites invite their visitors to lend standby processor power to the Gather cloud computing network. For those users who agree, their CPU’s spare capacity is tapped to generate rewards for both the creator and the user.
When the excess CPU power is used in combination with hundreds or thousands more on the network, Gather’s cloud computing potential becomes great. Publishers can monetize ad-free while companies that buy cloud computing services have access to cheap and reliable processing power. This processing power would otherwise have been wasted and unused. If Gather’s promise can be kept, it offers a potentially fairer solution for all parties and what is promised as a fairer system for all.
However, for the Gather to be successful, he will have to persuade sites to drop advertising in favor of their cloud computing solution. Here, the company seems to show some promise. 200 companies already participate in Gather’s network, including a $ 4 billion mega-company.
Advertising does not have a great reputation with internet users, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 – but it will not be users alone who will make or destroy the future of online advertising. In the case of Gather, the company operates without collecting user data and prioritizes consumer privacy. While rare, Gather sets a precedent for how businesses should interact with data with consumers in mind.
In order to complete or gain significant market share in the sector, any alternative will also have to appeal to publishers and content creators. Gather has developed a solution that rewards multiple stakeholders in a concept that can prove to be valuable. If the company can gain traction in the market and integrate an ever greater number of publishers and content creators, it will undoubtedly prove that the biggest challenge of online advertising has always been hidden in our computers.
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