Ok, so we’ve figured out ways to pretty much monetize everything at this point, with one of our last precious finite resources being time. Yes, time. We can have all the renewable energy in the world, but eventually our time is going to run out. It makes it our most valuable asset – so why aren’t we making more companies pay for it? We help them stay in business with our purchases, impressions, and clicks, how about a little kickback?
I’m not alone in this thought, and we’re beginning to see a rise in companies that are using this basic idea to build services that could help all parties benefit in the future. Everyone from the end user to the companies providing a service, all the way to advertising partners can increase their gains. I’ve compiled a list of a couple different players that are shaking things up with this thought of monetizing time, you can read more about them below!
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Brave browser and the BAT
Headed by Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, the Brave browser is a Chrome alternative that offers fast speeds and much more security that everyone’s favorite Google browser. This is mainly accomplished by native ad blocking. Obviously, ad blocking can be bad – especially for the sites you love to visit, so Brave is working on a system that allows for what basically amounts to micro transactions to the sites you utilize every day. They get paid, and you don’t have to deal with potentially harmful ads.
Combo this with the new Basic Attention Token and you have a system that can do a lot of this heavy lifting automatically through the use of the blockchain and cryptocurrency. Based on Etherium, this currency connects users, advertisers, and publishers. Users can get rewarded for using and spending time with the Brave browser, while putting more attention on the native Brave ads that replace the ads you might find through other browsers.
We’re out here creating every day for free – posting pictures on Instagram, creating spicy memes on Tumblr, and making uninformed political opinions on Facebook, while the social platforms we use to share our voice is raking in the money. Yes, we’re getting a service for free, but we’re also submitting a lot of personal information to these companies in exchange for that. Our content is keeping people on these sites, so a little kickback isn’t too much to ask for, right?
That’s basically Steemit‘s philosophy. At its core, they are a blockchain-based social media company that rewards users with cryptocurrency (called steem) for engaging content and contributing to other user conversations. Two voices are not always worth the same amount, however. The bigger your social footprint and influence is, the more your time and content is worth. It’s an interesting system that promotes engaging content, not just spamming whatever comes to mind in an effort to boost your revenue.
Taking some of the aspects of both of the services above, mytime (yes, they have everything lowercase and no, I don’t like it) is a platform that also rewards users for their time spent while on a platform that supports the mytime cryptocurrency. Whereas Steemit and BAT are more centralized, pin-pointed solutions, mytime is looking to integrate their platform into both new and existing services to broaden the idea of monetizing time.
Using the same premise as the other examples, users are rewarded for their time with a service through the use of smart contracts on the blockchain, those rewards being mytime’s cryptocurrency, MYTC. Being able to build new ideas on this platform is what helps make this one exciting. Free to play games could use a reward system tied in with MYTC to keep users engaged. Websites could reward users for reading more articles or watching more videos. There are a lot of options, and considering you have a currency that could be used across different, there are even more channels for users to find value in the currency.
More and more apps and services are competing for our time. We already have to pick and choose what we spend our time on, so having options that actually reward users for more time spent is pretty great. The world of blockchain and cryptocurrency is helping make this idea much more realistic thanks to smart contracts and a decentralized currency that is valued the same across the globe. While many of these platforms still have things that will need to be figured out to reach large market adoption, the premise is both strong and exciting.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.