Brave, the web browser with built-in ad-blocking, has controversially secured a partnership with Dow Jones Media Group. The new deal is designed to test blockchain technologies usefulness in digital publishing while bringing brand awareness to a new wave of potential premium digital content subscribers.
In addition, Barron’s and MarketWatch are becoming verified publishers on Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) platform, a blockchain-based system that will allow consumers and eventually advertisers to pay publishers. (Brave had a hugely successful initial coin offering last year).
Brave also recently announced the launch of a referral program that rewards creators with BAT when they convince readers to switch over to the browser.
In a statement announcing the partnership, Barron’s Snr. Vice President, Daniel Bernard, stated that “as global digital publishers, we believe it is important to continually explore new and emerging technologies that can be used to build quality customer experiences.”
The partnership only involves the Dow Jones Media Group, not the larger Dow Jones organization (which is best-known for publishing The Wall Street Journal). And the language the companies are using suggests that they’re both very much approaching this as an experiment.
Regardless, the development is a dramatic change in tone from the way most publishers talk about ad-blockers. A group of newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal) published a letter two years ago stating that Brave’s business model was “indistinguishable from a plan to steal our content to publish on your own website.”