Since the recent SteemIt, Inc announcement I've seen a lot of discussion around whether or not steemit.com should start selling advertising. I absolutely think they should sell advertising, and I think every other Steem-based site or app should too, because I believe that as long as it's done correctly it could skyrocket the value of the STEEM token. Allow me to convince you.
I hear many people say that Steem-based sites should not sell advertising because Steem is supposed to be a new way to monetize content online without ads. I don't think that's true, however. I think the monetization method on Steem is exactly the same as on traditional websites (i.e. advertising), but it's how that ad money gets distributed that's different.
To use Facebook as an example, though most any site will do, people provide the content for free, and Facebook gets all of the advertising dollars which is made possible by the content everyone freely contributes. The brilliance and innovation of the Steem platform, is that the advertising dollars can instead go to the people who are actually providing the content and the value that the advertisers are seeking.
Advertising is still the method of monetization, but now the users - the content producers, the readers, the curators - are the ones benefiting from it. This means that, as users of Steem-based websites, we should want advertising. We should appreciate and support companies and brands that choose to advertise on Steem because they are literally paying us for the privilege of being able to have us see their message.
Let's say SteemIt, Inc starts selling advertising on steemit.com. All ads must be paid for using STEEM, so that means that every dollar spent on ads is a dollar spent purchasing STEEM, and increasing the value of the asset we all own. I would even go so far as to show a message with all of the ads saying something like "Trezor, Inc is running a 300,000 STEEM campaign to bring you this message...".
I would be so freakin' excited to see something like that on any Steem-based website. Not only that, but I would be so appreciative of the fact that Trezor (in this random example) has chosen to advertise here and increase the value of my STEEM that I would do whatever I can to support them - i.e. buy their product - so that they would continue to advertise on Steem-based sites and continue to put more money into STEEM.
So now we have a situation where instead of users being annoyed at the ads, they love and welcome them, because every ad dollar spent is increasing the value of the tokens we all own and earn on the Steem platform. This is a dream scenario for advertisers as well, and I expect that if this concept is properly messaged to the Steem userbase then ads would perform significantly better for advertisers on Steem-based sites than anywhere else on the internet.
If we, as a community, not only allow for advertising to be shown on Steem-based sites, but support and embrace it, then we would create a wonderful, virtuous cycle that continually brings in more money and increases the value of the STEEM token.
I don't really see SteemIt, Inc doing that, unfortunately, but that doesn't mean that another Steem-based site can't do it. I would love to see steempeak/busy/dtube/vimm/etc go out and get that very first advertiser, and then rally the Steem community to go make sure they have the best freakin' ad campaign performance they've ever seen, and try to jump-start that value cycle I mentioned.
To summarize - if it's made abundantly clear to the userbase how the ads being shown benefit them, then they should be excited for, and supportive of the ads which, as I said, is a dream scenario for advertisers, and will help bring a lot of ad dollars into the platform and into the STEEM token.
Have I convinced you? Or would you still prefer to have no ads and no actual way to monetize content outside of hoping people blindly speculate on the future price of the token? Let me know in the comments!