Formed by video collaboration platform dubdub and the Interactive Video and Experience Protocol (IVEP), tech platform Dubtokens aims to improve the commercialisation and user experience (UX) for ad-supported video content, while also tackling some of the ongoing challenges faced by publishers, including ad fraud, ad blocking and the demonetising of video content.

PerformanceIN chats with Fred Dionne, CEO of Dubtokens on how the platform utilises blockchain technology to implement its strategies while looking at how they are dealing with today’s issues within programmatic advertising.

First of all, could you tell us a bit about blockchain platform Dubtokens?

Fred Dionne: The IVEP is a blockchain-based platform powered by a digital currency owned by its members, called Dubtokens. This is building a backbone and software infrastructure to deliver online video interactivity and foster real human engagement, using programmable smart objects. It is a Web 3.0 open-source protocol that integrates the immutability and transparency of the blockchain with the trust attributes of a tokenised economy.

IVEP is a lightweight, platform-agnostic technology. It is layered on top of videos embedded from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or other video players. It is completely customisable and interactions can be changed in real-time based on user preferences or with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With IVEP, billions of hours of video content can now be made interactive and/or monetised without the use of pre-roll or mid-roll ads.

Our system improves copyright protection by tracking the source of content and the types of smart objects being used. It also automates the sharing of royalties and immutable real human engagement metrics in real-time. We differentiate between bot and human traffic based on engagement behaviour and other factors.

One of the key components of Dubtokens is monetising video content. How does blockchain technology aid in this and overall benefiting both marketers and publishers in the long run?

FD: When designing the IVEP and Dubtokens, we looked at the pain points of creators, publishers, advertisers and their audience. Creators are struggling to monetise video content. Publishers seek audience retention amid declining revenue per thousand impressions (RPM). Meanwhile, centralised platforms such as Facebook and Instagram reap most of the benefits. Invalid and fraudulent traffic is prolific, making traditional ad support models ineffective in the digital world. Engagement, rather than view metrics, are the best measurement of performance for digital advertising.

Audiences want interactive, informative and relevant content. Pre-roll and banner ads offer terrible user experiences. Modern audiences engage hundreds of times per day on their digital devices and crave interactive experiences.

IVEP gives content creators the tools to make videos interactive and relevant to audiences. Creators and publishers can significantly improve audience retention by creating fully personalised and relevant experiences under the full control of every publisher.

With blockchain technology, our system automates the transfer of value every time engagement occurs, and measures real human engagement and ROI in real-time. The quality of content is improved, revenue is not bottlenecked and native advertisers get assurance that they are reaching real humans, not bots, and can measure real engagement, not just views.

You’ve just announced your partnership with social media content publisher Shared in a move to combat ad fraud. What sort of plans do you have in place over the coming months?

FD: It’s not only to combat ad fraud, but also to create interactive experiences to improve the overall experience for their audience, thereby improving retention, ROI and capturing preferences from each viewer. Shared is concerned with ad fraud but is also keen to make better customer experiences their top priority because they understand very well what their audience want. IVEP is a unique open-source technology that will give them a turnkey solution to make video interactivity happen, at practically no cost to the publisher. Shared plans to create interactive and informative video content for their user base of more than 30 million fans and also drive more sales right from the video experience. Shared actually believes that the growth of interactive video online will fuel demand for more relevant native advertising, basically creating a win-win opportunity for shared, their content creators and advertisers. So expect to see some amazing interactive content coming from Shared in January 2018.

With problems that undermine the experience for creators, publishers, advertisers and users, how important is creating a “unique” user experience when driving content to the right audiences?

FD: For 90% of brands, customer experience is the new battlefield (as stated by Gartner). Customers want to feel unique. Digital media enables brands to create that uniqueness based on preferences it captures from its audience. Still, some viewers remain reluctant to share personal information and habits with brands. They don’t see any value and they want to protect their privacy. However, we can create incentives so users willingly share more relevant information with brands. By creating interactive storytelling and asking questions as viewers discover new stories, you can learn a lot about audience preferences and needs. As IVEP is creating a real-time data analytics and management infrastructure, you can basically adapt the experience in real-time, with the help of AI, to further improve the uniqueness of such experience.

By offering a digital token (a modern form of loyalty points) to its most engaging users, a publisher encourages engagement and a willingness to share preferences and needs. Some companies have done this effectively with traditional methods, now digital tokens make it possible for all online publishers and marketers to do the same. These tokens can then be used by viewers to redeem coupons or buy products for instance.

Lastly, where do you see blockchain technology going in 2018 and beyond?

FD: Blockchain technologies are still immature. However, there is no doubt that we are at the beginning of a very disruptive technological and economic cycle. Public chains like Bitcoin and Ethereum have scalability problems many people are not talking about (they can only make a few transactions per second). This is less of a problem with private chains. We will see a lot of hybrid solutions that combine public and private chain technologies. IVEP is integrating the best of those technologies to reassure participants that the data they capture and exchange amongst themselves can be trusted and is not subject to any bottleneck.

Tokenised communities like Dubtokens will become mainstream in the years to come. It will be the preferred model to build technology in the future, with a non-profit structure overseeing the interest of all the participants, and not only those of a small group of shareholders.

In January 2018, our interactive content editor will be made open source and free for every marketer to use. The editor can be branded and customized at will, as the marketer sees fit.