Content has never been more important than it is today. Whilst online advertising is a pillar of the modern Internet, brands increasingly rely on exposure to audiences through content marketing to stay relevant.
However, online audiences and the data around the content they consume are controlled by a small number of centralised platforms, such as social platforms and search engines, that limit the flow of data from consumers to the parties who make content. These platforms harvest huge amounts of valuable engagement and preference data from consumers, but offer brands and publishers little in return.
These platforms present themselves as networks, when they are simply nodes in the network. The social web exists on messaging platforms (IMs) such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram and SMS. When a consumer finds a piece of content, they share it via these channels. It is this vital data that centralised platforms do not, and are not incentivised to provide - these channels are referred to as “Dark Social”.
The experience of consumers is worse as a result, because instead of having a more direct relationship with their audience, brands and publishers who make content rely on clickbait or expensive paid media campaigns to reach them. To try and create a more direct relationship, consumers are forced to pay for content in many different ways e.g. paywalls, email addresses, micro-credit-card-payments, when all they want is a seamless experience.
A new developer protocol – MEDIA Protocol – will provide developers, brands, publisher, consumers, etc. the opportunity and incentive structures to interact in ways that are not permitted by centralised platforms. In this way, the protocol does more than reward attention: it fundamentally enables a new set of relationships between important parties that already want to interact with one another in more efficient and rewarding ways.
MEDIA Protocol creates a direct economy for the exchange of content, data, and incentives, including financial incentives. MEDIA Protocol enables publishers, brands and content creators to deliver the most relevant content in pursuit of a more transparent, efficient and enjoyable online experience.
The economic function of the protocol is designed to create a direct channel for publishers to promote content through balanced consumption incentives directly to consumers, for consumers to pay directly for gated content, and to spend tokens rewarding favoured content creators and publishers.
The protocol is designed to bring visibility to how consumers interact with and share content. In the future, this will foster an ecosystem of localised and community-centric content distribution that cannot currently overcome the economies of scale perpetuated by incumbent platforms.
In this paper, we will discuss the technical characteristics of MEDIA Protocol, how it will be executed and our plans for the future. To learn more about MEDIA Protocol as a business proposition, please read our Business Paper.