It looks like at least one major news publisher is on-board with Brave, the ad-blocking web browser founded by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich.
Brave Software and Dow Jones Media Group announced today they will be partnering in a deal that will bring Media Group content (specifically, full access to Barrons.com or a premium MarketWatch newsletter) to “a limited number of users who download the Brave browser on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
In addition, Barron’s and MarketWatch are becoming verified publishers on Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) platform, a blockchain-based system that will allow consumers and eventually advertisers to pay publishers. (Brave had a hugely successful initial coin offering last year.)
And the companies said they will be working together to experiment with different ways to use blockchain technology in media and advertising.
“As global digital publishers, we believe it is important to continually explore new and emerging technologies that can be used to build quality customer experiences,” said Barron’s Senior Vice President Daniel Bernard in the announcement.
To be clear, the partnership just involves the Dow Jones Media Group, not the larger Dow Jones organization (which is best-known for publishing The Wall Street Journal). And the language that the companies are using suggests that they’re very much approaching this as an experiment.
But it’s certainly a dramatic change in tone from the way most publishers talk about ad-blockers. In fact, a group of newspapers (including the Journal) published a letter two years ago stating that Brave’s business model was “indistinguishable from a plan to steal our content to publish on your own website.”
Brave also recently announced the launch of a referral program that rewards creators with BAT when they convince their fans to switch over to the browser. In the same announcement, the company said it has 2 million monthly active users.
Update: The headline and story have been rewritten to clarify the distinction between the Dow Jones Media Group and the larger Dow Jones organization.