A blockchain protocol says its goal is to significantly increase engagement for video publishers — and deliver a much-needed boost to their advertising revenues.
Verasity’s proof-of-view protocol, which has been rewarded with a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (#10956931), ensures that views recorded on video platforms are genuine — delivering “accurate, secure, real and transparent” audience metrics recorded on the blockchain.
The project’s quest against “fake views” aims to tackle concerns that viewership figures are often inflated, meaning advertisers end up paying for publicity they didn’t actually receive. Some estimates suggest that over 50% of the cash spent on online advertising is for views that are not seen by real people.
As an impassioned blog post written by the Verasity team explained: “Manipulating these algorithms damages the ecosystem for viewers, creators, brands and advertisers. Viewers are given a false impression of content, advertisers and sponsors are misled, and creators that spend time making fantastic content but who don’t buy fake views are at a disadvantage.”
What’s the value of a view?
Verasity’s stated goal is to derive the true value of content. In the online world, many of us often click on videos that have racked up millions of views — taking these figures as a sign that the clip will be of a good standard. Viewers subsequently end up being disappointed by what they see… all while high-quality videos languish because of unfair algorithms.
According to the blockchain project, expenditure on digital advertising hit $325 billion in 2019. Although budgets fell away in 2020 because of COVID-19, it is still on track to reach a staggering $389 billion in 2021. Last year, two-thirds of the cash spent went to Google and Facebook, the tech giants who own the two largest video platforms.
This dominance causes problems, Verasity says, especially for people who want to earn a living as a content creator. Someone who publishes a video that generates one million views (which is not an easy feat) might only receive $0.01 per view — resulting in a $10,000 payday.
Beneficial for all
Verasity says its protocol offers a win-win-win situation — viewers can enjoy quality content; creators can be compensated through a blend of advertising, donations and subscriptions; and brands can reach engaged audiences rather than people just waiting to skip their ads.
The proof-of-view system eliminates the methods that may be used to manipulate viewing data — such as videos being looped on repeat or multiple clips getting loaded simultaneously.
When viewers create an account through the Verasity platform, they’re assigned an anonymous ID to ensure a view is genuine — thwarting bots that game the system. Crucially, data surrounding which videos are watched will remain anonymous.
One powerful use case is a Verasity-owned site: Esports Fight Club, which enables amateur players and pro gamers to join together for friendly and professional tournaments. This site is going to integrate all of Verasity’s distinctive features — showcasing proof-of-view technology to publishers and platforms trying to significantly improve ad monetization.
Another comes in the form of Verasity.tv, which serves as an aggregator of publishers. Content creators who distribute their videos on YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, Brightcove and other platforms can now use this technology to enhance their earnings — covering 90% of all video players in the West. It’s estimated that more than two million publishers who are struggling to survive on low advertising revenues could benefit.
At the beating heart of the ecosystem is the ERC-777 token, which ensures that the proof-of-view protocol can function properly. Verasity says the use of Ethereum means the token can scale without the issue of adoption that so many new mainnets have.
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