New Publishing Tech
4 mins read

Q&A: Madai, connecting publishers to the lucrative world of market research

Founded in 2010, Madai assists publishers in monetizing traffic within the digital survey market while at the same time facilitating deep user profiling. Clients include Geek, Toolbox, Mashable, PCMag and others. Based in Salt Lake City, London and Milan, WNIP caught up with Andrew Middleton, Director of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, to find out more…

What business problem is your company addressing?

Publishers across the board are facing a loss of revenue for several reasons (Editor’s note: this interview was conducted prior to the coronavirus emergency). The most pressing is Google’s announcement that it wants to stop third-party tracking cookies. The loss of third-party party cookies will prevent advertisers from reaching target audiences effectively, and ultimately publishers will lose valuable advertising revenue.

This loss of audience tracking coupled with improved privacy regulation places immense pressure on publishers to begin to source and activate new revenue verticals.

Not only are publishers faced with the aforementioned changes to the market landscape but the 3 massive controllers of digital advertising; Google, Facebook, and Amazon, continue to retain global control of the market as they fortify their walled gardens, and force publishers to pay-to-play.

Our own solution assists publishers in generating revenue within the booming digital survey market, which is touted to have a market size of 6.9 billion USD by 2022. This revenue diversification should play its part in offsetting the changes affecting advertising-based revenue.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

Madai’s monetize solution plugs publisher audiences into programmatic survey marketplaces to facilitate and optimize survey matching. Users who participate and complete surveys drive revenue for the publisher and, in turn, are incentivized to do so by receiving discounts on gift-cards for themselves.

Engaged users have the choice to opt-in to data sharing with the publisher, facilitating the generation of first-party data in a compliant manner should the publisher want it. Over time, the data and insights generated assist the publisher in optimizing current revenue verticals while also developing the competency to open new ones.

In the long term, the first-party data lake generated can become a formidable dynamic panel, further opening up market research revenue options.

Other monetization products include an affiliate earning link when donations are made to charity, or attention-based actions (for example video views) where advertising is only paid for when attention is guaranteed.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

Ziff Davis has successfully launched the offering on both and, in both cases seeing improved click-through rates on their call-to-actions. Understanding that both the Mashable and PCMag audiences have strong fits with lucrative survey targets, they are seeing higher than marketplace average cost-per-interviews (CPI’s), which is the rate they earn per survey taken. The aforementioned coupled with the strong conversion rates seen on both the Madai platform as well as in the Lucid Marketplace, is evidence that publishers with engaged audiences can earn revenue through digital surveys.


Madai only charges a variable cost when surveys are completed, making the offering risk-free. Should the publisher wish to generate first-party data, there is an implementation fee as well as a fee per profile generated.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

We are currently unaware of competitors who both incentivize users with a real-time cash value as surveys are completed, and who directly link publishers’ traffic to survey sources without cumbersome development. Our solution has been developed with the lowest possible friction for publishers to implement and benefit from the digital survey market.

How do you view the future?

As data restrictions intensify and the attention economy begins to bring consumers into the value chain, offerings like Madai’s are poised to thrive. Users choose when, where, and what data to consent to share, receiving a financial benefit in return.

Publishers deepen their relationships with their audience, creating improved context around their offering, commanding more revenue from advertisers, survey buyers, and brand partners.

Over time we intend to continue to refine our B2C facing offering ensuring a better experience for users and increased revenue for publishers. Additional revenue drivers, such as; brand education, charitable giving, and product marketing will be folded into the offering, further creating revenue opportunity for our partners, and more earning potential for their engaged users.

Our development roadmap includes a white-labeled mobile app to improve mobile conversion as well as new fine-tuning around our cash-based rewards solution to assist motivation and consumer benefit.  

Anything else we should know?

Madai has a proprietary rewards mechanism called CrowdRewarding through which users are able to gain more value for their time due to the collective actions of the crowd. This enables increased value to be extracted by engaged users, making the offering more compelling for users and publishers alike. Unlike points systems of old, our real-time progressive discounts allow users to extract value when they choose. 

Thank you.