If you read SmartOptions you have heard from Adex a few times. As old online marketing mug, I spent some time with various advertising platforms – both as publisher, as well as advertiser, and if you are the same, you likely have experienced the same problems as I did. Overloaded platforms with near to no click fraud protection. See Adwords – even after their recent re-redesign (which indeed made things a bit easier) it is still hard to publish a campaign without getting ruined by accident. In fact, most of the platforms need an actual course to be taken, to set things up the right way. Adex was supposed to do it the other way. End of February they now released their highly anticipated beta. Everyone expected a hefty price increase for the $ADX token, the opposite happened – it plummeted. Has the platform release been the reason? Let’s take a look together.
What is Adex?
Adex is a decentralized ad platform which makes use of smart contracts for a direct deal between advertiser and publisher. This cuts out the middleman (like, e.g. Google for Adwords / Adsense) and makes a fair and commission/fee – free advertising possible. Advertisers can choose from a catalog of possible slots, send offers with their CPM / CPC (cost per million views/cost per click) and the publisher accepts or declines that offer. Once the campaign is completed, the smart contract releases the agreed amount. This whole process is managed by the Adex DApp.
The Adex Beta Platform
Personally, I run accounts on Adwords, Adsense, Bing Ads, Yandex, Bidvertiser, and a few more. The Adex platform is by far the most simplified advertising platform I’ve ever seen. It might be that there will be tons of features in the future, that make it a bit more difficult, but by the time writing this, it is a straightforward and super sleek platform for both parties. It’s beautifully designed, a bit minimalistic maybe, but hey – that’s OK. Being both, advertiser and publisher, I love that you have a simple slider in the top left area, where you can change your role on the platform. Most advertising platforms want you to create two different accounts.
The Signup Process
Ok, I am a few days in crypto now, and I am familiar with the no-email-signup-account-concept. But it still got me to have an account on an advertising platform without having to signup with an email. Right now you just connect with Metamask to the DApp and done. Wait, what? Yep, it is that easy. If you don’t use Metamask yet, it a browser extension, that hooks into your (e.g.) Chrome installation, so you can run Ethereum DApps directly in your browser. A great thing, I love it. As Adex is an ERC20 Token, you can receive, send and store your $ADX right within Metamask. So basically you signup & login with Metamask AND you have your advertising funds or withdrawal option ready. That’s a great process thinking. We are often used to know things as complicated, that it leaves us sometimes a bit puzzled or even unsure if we meet things done the easy way. This is how I felt when using the Adex platform. For the future, it is planned to enable you to log in with Trezor and Ledger as well.
The Publisher Side
You add a channel by setting up a name, writing a short description of your property and upload the logo. That’s it. At first, I searched for any documentation or tooltips – those are not existing yet, but really – you just don’t need them.
Once created you add the ad slots. Here you have to know what you are offering, like the banner sizes you can place on your site by HTML or for mobile devices. Once done you add those slots to one of your channels and you get the implementation code, which is done as an iframe. You can add your own fallback data as well if the slot does not get filled.
Right below each slot you see the incoming bids you can accept or reject. And that’s it. Pretty easy, I’d say.
However, I’d have to say that I was not able to accept a bid, as they have been incoming, so the most crucial part is still to fix.
The Advertiser Side
To switch to the advertiser view, you just click on the switch in the upper left area:
The advertiser side works the same easy and fast way like the publisher side. You create a campaign, create ad units and upload your different banner sizes for that particular campaign. As I did not upload a banner set, I can only guess, that the system tries to match you now with advertising slots and offers you available spots – that would be the logical way. To advertise, you can deposit $ADX tokens and $ETH.
I think we have seen that Adex is delivering – the product is rock-solid – once it works completely. They had to release this beta, but the most important for advertisers, accepting a bid, did not work yet – maybe this very crucial thing should have been solved first. The dashboard is VERY naked yet, and I guess we can’t expect any detailed analytics at the moment, but I am sure they will be implemented with the coming updates. Adwords nerds might see the platform as too plain and bare, though the average advertiser will be grateful to find a platform which he can make instantly use of, without the need of an MBA. Speaking features, Adex has not much to offer yet – it is beta, and that is OK. The beta shows that they are working hard and steady and they even exceeded their roadmap plans. It is an almost usable product, and it is already much better than other solutions available on the market for years. If they keep pace with this speed, Adex will ramp this thing up to a very neat advertising opportunity in no time. A proper documentation and on-site guides for new users will help to lift the hurdle of building a database of advertiser and publishers – documentation is missing by any means, as well as customer support options, but again it is beta. However, to get the most out of beta release, they really should have a “submit a bug” – button placed prominently on the dashboard to become aware of everything dysfunctional. The account setup without any email, makes me wonder how you get notified about a bid/acceptance without constantly looking into the site.
Now we have to see how the platform will be adopted and used. I assume it will stay in the crypto niche for the first years, as you can only pay with cryptocurrencies – and personally, I don’t know a company that is paying advertising bills in crypto. At least not yet. To get some advertisers and publisher aboard, it could be worth to start with an organic/inorganic growth strategy.
Adex shows that the cryptospace has something to offer – something you can actually use in the real world. So many of these projects out there can’t say that and this, Adex, is entirely a great achievement. Congratulations on your baby!
But there is still a question waiting for an answer: why did this highly anticipated platform release not push the price of $ADX? The entire cryptospace seemed to have waited for this release, and the price just plummeted. Was it Bitcoin? Did whales change their strategies? Who knows. We just didn’t saw that big green candles before the release and that’s frustrating – however, in my opinion, ADEX is only partially to blame for that. They actually delivered more than promised (they gave V2 instead of V1, which has been actually scheduled for 2019), but by doing so they released something not fully working, it seems. Maybe someone else can comment here if they are able to accept bids. I don’t think that this bug has caused the price dump, but anyway we won’t find the answer soon. However, I can say seeing the beta, has made me confident in my long-term investment in $ADX. The token will be used on the platform. The publisher will be paid in $ADX, the advertiser will need $ADX to purchase ads. That’s quite an exciting experiment – very much one of a kind, and I am curious how this will play out in the long run. Whatever the price dropped, it was not the reaction of disappointed investors because of the beta release.