Attention Economy and the ad-tech industry

Feb 8, 2019 | Highlight, SOUNDAC

In continuation to the previous article where I introduced you to the birth of attention economy, this article aims to shed some light on the differences between transactions occurring in the existing industrial economy and the nascent attention economy which will witness an explosive growth in the years to come.

Jumping straight to the point, the whole industrial capitalist economy is made of buy/sell transactions. You buy/sell goods and in return, you spend/receive currency that is issued by national central banks of your country. The industrial economy exists in the digital world too, where the buy/sell transaction is followed by delivery of physical/digital goods or services. The birth of the attention economy puts value on your attention and rewards you in different ways including cryptocurrency tokens in exchange for your attention.

The birth of the attention economy has created digital rewards like cryptocurrency tokens on a decentralized blockchain giving rise to the PeerTracks streaming platform

When compared to the industrial capitalist economy, the digital attention economy is drastically different. This new attention economy is dominated by pay/receive attention transactions using a variety of attention currencies such as likes, retweets and favorites that are issued by highly centralized entities such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and others. In the industrial economy, the buy/sell transactions are recorded in the centralized banking ledger, although the birth of Bitcoin and several altcoins now make it possible to put an industrial economy transaction on a decentralized ledger. In the case of the attention economy, attention capital flow is represented by a trail of attention currency transactions that happen on centralized ledgers of the above mentioned silicon valley giants. While the distributed ledger technology is what supports cryptocurrency on the blockchain.

In the previous article, I had explained how attention is current and the future generation's scarcity and how it is linked to a human biological limitation. That is, each one of us has only 24 hours in a day, of which a major chunk is dedicated to sleep! However, what we must understand is that attention is a networked resource. Our brain, when connected to a smartphone, acts as a node in the network that can pay/receive attention. While you only have a limited amount of attention to pay, there's no restriction on receiving attention. Some of us (content creators) can attract way more attention than others, for example, you could upload a video on youtube.com and have thousands of people pay attention to you, and since attention is so valuable, a lot of people are willing to pay for redirecting that attention towards them, which is basically exchange of value between the attention economy and the industrial economy. Your attention has now become a resource of value in the digital world to create the attention economy.

Publishers compete against each other to get more attention currency (likes, shares, followers) so that they can ultimately redirect the attention in exchange for money. On a higher level, platforms such as Twitter, Youtube and Facebook compete against each other for the user’s attention. This exchange of value between attention economy and the industrial economy is done via middlemen, which could be ad networks, ad platforms or talent management agencies. Ad platforms have access to the transactional data, and since the platform has a monopoly over the proprietary attention currency, this proves to be an extremely profitable business model for the platform, but not necessarily the publisher.

The future is going to be digital and decentralized, and with the emergence of the blockchain based smart contract platforms, attention and capital will transact on the same decentralized ledger, and we’ve already achieved it with SOUNDAC, a decentralized blockchain solution focused on solving the problems in the music industry and transparency in royalty payments on streaming platforms. SOUNDAC tokenizes listener’s attention into a cryptocurrency token called XSD. While there is no single entity controlling XSD, the cryptocurrency can be used as money, or it can be used for the utilities that SOUNDAC has to offer such as voting your favorite artist, streaming platform, staking and so on. With the emergence of Ad-blockers, the future of ad-tech industry is in jeopardy and the flagship streaming platform on SOUNDAC, PeerTracks.com, offers on-demand music streaming service at no-subscription cost while displaying no ads. The PeerTracks streaming platform rewards the artists with cryptocurrency tokens as royalty payments. This is the future and the future is here.

SOUNDAC Team

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