There are many things that we all must live with. Death, Taxes, Eating Sleeping and yes advertising.
Ever since the earliest times people have been promoting goods, services and ideas with advertising. Now as we leave the information age and enter the experiential age, where we plunge ourselves into our computers via Virtual and Augmented Reality we must look again at the role of advertising.
Somnium will be showing ads. What! Ads in my precious VR? NO! Well my friends, when you zoom out right now and look around your room you will see, (starting from your Apple watch, to your Samsung Phone, to your Oculus Rift, on your Dell computer, etc. etc.) thousands of branded items and objects. Do you hate your Samsung phone advertising to you? No! You love it and tell folks about it. So, as long as the “ad” (your phone) isn’t “in your face” breaking your chain of thought and pissing you off, you are happy for it to do a bit of free PR for Samsung. Remember word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising channels!
Now lets bring this back to Somnium Space and VR. At Somnium we believe, that in order to have healthy long lasting VR world it needs to have functioning economy. One of the many pillars of that economy is an ability for players to advertise their own experiences or even allow other to advertise on their own land. That is why all ad tech we are implementing into Somnium will be available for players to generate revenues. We want you, people of Somnium, to decide how and where you want to use ads. Of course, there will be guidelines and rules.
We will have two major systems running in Somnium for ads. One is internal ad system build by Somnium, and another one built by our partner company Admix.
By partnering with Admix, Somnium itself as well as users, will be able to participate in direct, embedded, contextual ads in the form of 3d objects that, when interacted with or viewed, will provide income to the owner. No tracking, no surveillance, no demographic targeting, just plain old fashioned word of mouth advertising in the next medium: VR.
Of course there will be other ways to create revenue in these digital worlds: Billboards, blimps, signs, neon, lasers, in fact any advertising method you can imagine you can create. Whole mini-games, areas, buildings can be advertisements and create great value all without knowing anything about the user! (save maybe age and gender for legal and ethical reasons) Imagine a house built in the shape of a Coke bottle and you float to the top on a raft of carbon dioxide bubbles! Fun? Yes! Cool? Yes! Advertising? Yes but subtle!
There will also be pay for action method. You could walk to certain place on Somnium Map in VR for 15 minutes or you can pay a fee and teleport there in 2 seconds via Somnium Transportation System teleport. Alternatively you will be able to watch a few second ad and teleport anywhere too. Many tend to walk because they like the exercise and enjoy VR nature views, but if you were on a short schedule you may well watch a short ad instead of paying for the teleport. Or go ad free and buy a teleport subscription!
With latest updates we introduce and start testing new advertising info panels located at Somnium main square. We will be running several tests, so expect some bugs! Please give us your feedback, let us know what you think and we hope to be crafting this experience together!
So as we have discussed here in this short article, there are many ways to create value for advertisers without tracking, interrupting and angering users. As long as the adverts are in context and add to the environment rather than subtracting. Banner ads in by VR headset? I’m gone! Tall frosty glass of Motts Clamato with Stoli and a dash of Tabasco with friends! Hell yeah! And I will likely go buy the stuff so I can drink a Ceasar/Bloody Mary in real, as well as digital life!
Somnium Space Team
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