We’ve been bombarded by advertisers for so long it’s rare we even remember this, but advertising is still valuable.
HitBliss, a new service launching into beta, is looking to put the control back in the hands of consumers, opting in to the notion that content sellers and advertisers shouldn’t even be in communication. “After all, the only thing that advertisers and content creators have in common is the consumer,” said founder Sharon Peyer.
The HitBliss platform is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have the HitBliss Store, which is just like any other content platform wherein customers can rent a movie for $3.99 and download a TV show for $2.99. There are absolutely zero ads on the Store.
On the other side of the business lies HitBliss Earn, lovingly nicknamed the “Pandora of ads”, which is where things get much more interesting. HitBliss Earn is an opt-in only platform that lets consumers create an advertising profile. This profile gives information like gender, name, and location — all the good stuff advertisers use to target you — but it goes much further than that.
The HitBliss Earn app actually scours the user’s internet history to deliver advertisements the same way Google delivers ads based on search terms.
This way advertisers know they’re reaching the right demographic, but all on the user’s terms. See, HitBliss Earn actually lets advertisers pay users directly for their attention, and users can then earn real credit that can be used in the HitBliss Earn store.
HitBliss Earn starts by lining up a queue of advertisements, with the most targeted first. That first ad has a greater earn potential, and that value goes down the less these ads are targeted toward you.
I know your first thought — what’s to stop you from pulling out your smartphone during the ads or switching to another application? Well, HitBliss.
The service works a bit like online traffic school or Aol’s Standards of Business Conduct training, in that you’re given a short window of time to respond to prompts asking if you’re paying attention. If you turn down the volume, mute, or switch the window to another application, the ad will stop and you’ll be reminded that you can only get paid for the ad if you actually watch it.
If an ad isn’t relevant to you, you can tell HitBliss that you don’t want to see this particular ad again, or that you don’t want this particular brand to be able to reach you again. That valuable information then ends up directly in the hands of the advertiser, who can use it to determine why their ad isn’t landing with their targeted audience.
The more you use HitBliss Earn, the more “trust points” you gain, meaning you’re interrupted less frequently during ads to check if you’re paying attention.
During beta, HitBliss isn’t taking any commission off of the Earn platform. In other words, all the money advertisers pay to put their ads on the platform ends up directly back in the hands of consumers watching the ads. That money can then be spent on the HitBliss Store, where HitBliss is taking a cut of the transaction.
Eventually, when the platform goes public and scales, HitBliss will start charging advertisers to be on such a valuable, disruptive platform. For now, however, it’s all about letting consumers adjust to the idea that they’re in charge of the ads they see.
HitBliss already has an impressive roster of advertisers and content providers, including Aflac, Dr. Pepper, and Liberty Mutual on the advertising side, and Warner Brothers, Paramount, Starz, and NBC Universal on the content side, to name just a few.
The truth is, we don’t hate ads. We’re just trained to believe that we do because advertisers have abused us for years. Yet, without ads, we wouldn’t know about when our favorite products go on sale or hear about what’s new from this or that company. But when you’re watching a well-built ad, or seeing something informative, you remember how much value ads actually have.
HitBliss is simply stepping in to jog your memory.