From what I've understood, ads are not on the table for STEEM, but for Steemit, Inc., through Steemit the dApp. STEEM isn't a business, it's a cryptocurrency on a decentralized blockchain with businesses (mostly social media dApps) running on top of it.
What STEEM needs is greater adoption. It needs more people buying STEEM. What it probably needs more is people actually transacting in STEEM: buying and purchasing products/services. What it needs is to get to the point that Bitcoin was getting to (not sure where this now since the downturn), which was use as an actual digital currency at a widening range of places.
Advertising only works if the company buying it is reasonably assured of an audience. It's only sustainable if said company sees some kind of return. STEEM the blockchain has nowhere for ads to be placed. Steemit the UI/dApp does, and it's owned by Steemit Inc. The STEEM blockchain isn't owned by any one entity.
What STEEM needs is marketing. Most people somehow don't know that STEEM even exists. That might mean buying advertising, not selling it.
And it needs good marketing, not haphazard, bend the truth as you go YouTube videos by hucksters with dubious claims at best. It needs a clear, unified message.
Whether Steemit wants to turn to ads is anyone's guess. From watching the latest livestream by Steemit CEO Ned Scott, I get the idea the company wants to get away from Steemit the dApp all together, and concentrate mostly on STEEM blockchain development. So, selling ads on a dApp they really don't want to do much with anymore wouldn't make sense. It might be a model for other dApps to consider.
I would hope they wouldn't. While tempting, and potentially profitable, I don't think advertising is the answer. There's too much that can go wrong with it, many of which are the reasons why we're all here in the first place. We don't want to be the product, like we've been on other social media platforms. So, why bring that to Steemit or any other dApp?
Do you mean “ads?”
And it is “want.” Not “wan’t.”
Advertising and paid promotion are the very value proposition of Steem. If those things were to be taken off the table permanently because of the majority of Steemians (weighed by SP) being opposed to them, then STEEM the cryptocurrency would be certain to crash and burn and go to zero eventually. At the moment, STEEM has speculative value only. Every single speculative bubble in history has ended in a pile of rubble. There are no exceptions.
If we reject ads like some people here do, saying things like we don't want to end up the product like on other social media, then we will have to forget about our current freemium model and move to a monthly subscription fee to cover the cost of running witness servers and development. Nothing is free in this world. And the idea that we could piggyback on e-commerce taking a cut from it to support every author who gets paid here sounds suspicious. Why would the businesses tolerate any significant extra costs imposed by Steemians getting rewarded for posting pictures of their dog or their opinions on their blogs if they were eating into their profits or if they had to be imposed on their customers? What, precisely, would prevent them from setting up shop somewhere else? Perhaps on some other blockchain?
Steem needs every source of value to stay afloat and to grow and prosper. Targeted and relevant ads on its front ends are certainly part of its future. Even if another crypto bull run sends the price of STEEM on an upward trajectory again, the growth of the number of apps will force Steemit Inc to pull away its generous delegations from the few that get them now. At that stage, those apps will have to stand on their own financially. Ad revenue is certainly nothing to scoff at. Who cares if the current crop of Steemians will whine at the sight of ads? There are billions of people out there using mainstream social media and other websites who don't mind ads at all as long as it allows them to use the services for free. It doesn't even matter what Steemians say now. A low enough price of Steem will send some packing while those who remain will come to accept the facts.
No. Targeted ads are what we want to get away from, while untargeted ads are ugly and unprofitable. What Steemit, Inc. needs to do is to convince regular businesses to invest in Steem, in order to increase the value of our platform and the price of our coin. In particular:
1. Convince online vendors to use Steem as a means of payment, with fast transactions, no fees and a convenient username. But first, to make this useable for new users, the onboarding process needs to be improved.
2. Convince investors that delegated Steem Power is an ingenious way to invest in startups without losing their money.
3. Convince companies and organisations that produce a lot of content to publish it on Steem, using our search engine karma, and to buy Steem Power to make it more visible. Not just media, but also PR firms, financial research firms, NGOs, unions, churches, political parties, archives, museums, universities, professional football clubs, government agencies and departments, local governments etc. They will need some hand-holding to learn how to attract readers on Steem and how to promote posts. An added benefit is that they will bring part of their own audience with them.
Unfortunately, the company wasn't up to this task already, and firing 70% of the team won't help. Realistically, a sustainable future will have to come from having apps and witnesses pay a larger share of the infrastructure cost.
Steem already has ads. It's called promotion and advertised posts appear in the promoted tab. But the thing is, Steem's current advertisement system is broken.
The token economy is also broken. Steemit.com is a top 2000 website in alexa site rank but it doesn't really generate revenue of websites in the top 2000.
It needs to fix the economic system to make it sustainable. People can use bidbots to promote their posts instead of the main site. That's why Steem isn't getting burned which in turn makes Steem an inflationary token.
So, over time, Steem losses its value by default. Inflation is not the problem. The problem is the broken system that allows people to promote posts to the trending page without burning or spending Steem.
If you check on dclick.io, there is a team that is dedicated to utilize the concept of "proof of click" whereby they are rewarding users and ads for their activity with in their platform which is also built on top of Steem. There has been effort in integrating ads to the system. However, it isn't the kind of pay-per-click ads similar to other social media interface since the ads itself is almost free of charge since the rewards are generated through the Steemit's pool.
Now, for your question that seems to suggest a pay-per-click scheme of ads, it might raise some concern from Steemians that it might de-value the ecosystem in general. Since the emergence of promo bots that utilized pay-per-vote scheme, the Steemit platform has become business oriented platform and the mindset of the majority is mostly to earn, from Whales down to Minnows. By integrating more business ideologies to the platform might cause long term detrimental effect.
Recently, I read the introduction of Dstors, this for me is one of the intriguing but promising DApp to be built in Steem blockchain. It aims to reward economic activity within the platform. It will utilized steem and other currencies for the transactions. Hopefully it can attract people to convert their fiat to have the chance to purchase something valuable from Dstors platform, and this for me is a good thing especially for the Steem currency.
Steem needs something more interesting than its competitors, especially EOS.
EOS has provided super high scalability (capable of processing 1.5 million more transactions per second), and its network has proven to be the most stable network.
If Steem wants to compete in this field, I'm sure Steem will lose. I strongly support the existence of SMT, which will attract many institutional investors. But the problem is: SMT might experience a setback again.
So as a bottom line: Steem requires timeliness, so investors don't get bored waiting. SMT has become a savior for Steem because it will create an independent economy in various sectors of dApps. All that is needed is a promise that is kept.
Steem doesn't need just ads but anything that will foster its mass adoption and make it marketable. Steem need to study Twitter to know what is making Twitter to succeed and replicate such. Most people still haven't know that a blogging platform like Steem exist. There need to be more awareness about steem and Steen also need to devise other means that will make it stand out because some competition are beginning to spring up.
I don't think we have enough traffic for it to be that valuable, but I am not opposed.