Salon to ad-block users: Let us use your computers to mine cryptocurrency (really)
Give Salon points for novelty. On Feb. 12, Salon added an unusual proposition to the message it greets ad-blocking site visitors with: Either whitelist us, or let us use your computer’s spare processing power to mine cryptocurrency instead.
Though Salon’s move will only apply to a small share of its total audience — around a quarter of its audience has ad blockers turned on — the publisher said it sees cryptocurrency mining as a serious source of revenue in the long term.
“This is not a farce,” Salon Media Group CEO Jordan Hoffner said. “We were intent on being the first media company to make this part of our monetization strategy.”
According to Hoffner, Salon’s development team had been kicking around the idea internally for months before it first became aware of Coinhive. Hoffner, a former Google executive, said he spent two years studying blockchain and cryptocurrency and thinking about how it fits into digital media, a question that many have been turning over in their minds.
Salon was a pioneer in digital publishing, but has shrunk to become a small company. In the last nine months of 2017, it reported just $3.9 million in revenue.
Immediate reaction to Salon’s move has been mixed. Some cryptocurrency watchers saw the idea as intriguing. “If this caught on, it would represent a major disruption to the mining industry,” said Preston Byrne, the founder of blockchain client Monax and a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute. “It would mean you could produce large mining farms simply by producing good content.”
Others were less enthusiastic. Salon will have to hope users don’t confuse its proposition with bad news Coinhive has faced recently, after bad actors worked its script into popular browser plugins, porn sites and digital advertisements, which did not require user consent.
Hoffner, for his part, sees the move as a way to gather more information about how to best pursue this strategy. “Right now, this is a ‘better than nothing strategy,'” he said. “But down the line, we will get there. We just need more information to build the product.”
Member ExclusiveCase Study: How Dentsu is pushing advertisers to embrace brand integrity
After 2020, brands got serious about brand safety, taking steps to ensure media placements weren't appearing alongside harmful content. At Digiday's Media Buying Summit, Dentsu's Brand Safety team talks about what it'll take to create industry wide media buying standards.
‘I think it’s all talk’ about DE&I: Overheard at Digiday’s Media Buying Summit
Participants in a breakout session at Digiday's Media Buying Summit ripped away the proverbial band-aid that might have made anyone feel significant progress is being made on DE&I in the media agency world.
Why an evolved B/R Gaming is investing in its linear, televised gaming content
B/R Gaming’s investment in televised content is proof that linear broadcasting companies are realizing the potential value of the gaming and esports audience.
SponsoredHow YouTube is redefining the online shopping experience experience
Sponsored by Google Amy Lanzi, North America practice lead, Publicis Commerce Finding surprising products in a brick-and-mortar store is, or used to be, a common experience: that magical shopping moment when the customer stumbles across something new that fits their needs perfectly. In 2021, however, it happens in the world’s biggest video storefront — YouTube. […]
‘I could barely walk’: Some COVID long-haulers radically reduce work hours to cope with symptoms
Professionals who are COVID long-haulers, have had to radically adjust their working schedules in order to cope with symptoms.
Member ExclusivePublishing Summit Recap: Publishers establish infrastructure to future-proof data sets
Publishers shared insights at the Digiday Publishing Summit at the end of September in Miami.