Though it’s only available to a few thousand people in a smart city in New Zealand, Monday’s news that Google is creating a fully fledged blockchain advertising platform is a big deal—at least when it comes to the future of advertising.
The platform, which will serve text ads alongside blockchain code and eventually offer video ads, the company said at the ad industry’s annual State of the Art conference in New York, could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Speaking at a panel this week, Monique Lim, the head of the Google Cloud Platform’s digital advertising team, revealed that the Google platform is currently live in two small cities—and also in a startup enclave in San Francisco.
Google likely won’t reveal the platform’s revenues just yet, but Jeff Reifman, a senior principal analyst at Pivotal Research Group, estimated in a report on Monday that the platform could generate $2 billion by 2022. Other analysts predicted that Google could rake in as much as $1 billion a year from these “self-service advertising” ads—and possibly more.
With more and more ads flowing through social platforms and other platforms where it can place its own ads, however, Google isn’t the only big digital player hoping to ride the blockchain wave. Twitter is exploring the use of blockchain for ads—as are Facebook and Snap. And Asuza, a blockchain consortium that counts Credit Suisse as its member, believes that advertising could be a $500 billion industry in a few years. With all the other deals and alliances with streaming services that a company like Netflix has signed, the streaming company could have a major direct-to-consumer advertising push, which could hurt Google and Facebook yet again.