This week, IBM announced they have been testing a blockchain-centric AI program that will help end digital spending waste and address transparency and trust issues among advertising partners.
Matthew Candy, Vice-President and Global Leader for IBM iX, told that IBM has been using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) system Watson AI since last year to target consumers in programmatic ad buys, and in the process significantly reduce costs. The idea of the system was to utilize blockchain technology in order to deliver a “programmatic ad buying experience” to businesses and individuals, who aim to utilize internet advertising services.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen digital advertising grow significantly. Hundreds of platforms have been released to help people reach their target audience on the internet. It was, however, only last year that we saw global annual digital ad spending surpass the amount of money that was spent annually on television ads. Last year, an estimated $209 billion was spent on digital ads, while TV advertising reached a total of $178 billion.
As the advertising industry faces unsustainable economics and transparency issues, particularly around intermediary fees and non-working media, IBM’s solution aims to provide a comprehensive view of the supply chain and tackle its opacity from the rapid proliferation of intermediaries, which makes it difficult for both advertisers and agencies to identify exactly how much spend is going towards ‘working media’.
The system they have created is unique and allows for advertising space to be purchased in an instant. No human interaction would be needed, as the artificial intelligence used to power this new venture would handle all processes in the backend
During their testing, they allowed the new AI-powered blockchain platform to handle various tasks related to advertising on the internet automatically. This includes the automation of choosing the best media sources where ads should be displayed.
This platform also included the most advantageous placement of ads on websites, as well as the optimization of the advertisements before publishing. Furthermore, the system was also initiated to automate the bidding process.
Candy says the idea is to check every step of an ad campaign: right from the purchase order to the media execution. Since all of it is recorded on the blockchain, it solves the challenge of media spend transparency. Candy said the aim was to remove business friction in advertising.