In today’s interview, Till Faida, eyeo’s founder and CEO, talks about his view on a sustainable online value exchange
eyeo was started almost 10 years ago with the clear goal to facilitate a reasonable compromise between frustrated users, who were unhappy about a poor user experience caused by intrusive ads, and websites, who were reliant on advertising revenues to make a living and were struggling to sustain themselves.
We have come a long way since then, but we have always remained true to our initial mission to keep the web free, user friendly and profitable at the same time. Today, we are speaking with Till Faida, eyeo’s founder and CEO, about his view on a sustainable online value exchange and eyeo’s role in it.
What do you think makes a sustainable value exchange on the internet and who should be considered for that to be successful?
I believe that the key to a sustainable value exchange is balance; all relevant stakeholders within that value exchange – users, publishers and advertisers – need to be able to coexist in a healthy online ecosystem. Information, access and content should be open and accessible to everyone at an agreeable price, but at the same time those who are creating and making that content accessible should be able to sustain themselves without compromising user experience.
Could you elaborate more on how eyeo brings value to users?
We empower users – a group who previously had no voice – by giving them control and choice over how they want to participate in a fair value exchange with publishers over the ads they see. In order to have a wider impact, we are forging partnerships with like-minded companies, who also want to participate in that, and we are ensuring that users from a variety of markets and on a variety of platforms have equal access to one of the most ingenious public resources, which is the internet.
Can eyeo actually benefit publishers?
Yes, for sure. Instead of publishers degrading their experience by offsetting lower ad prices with more inventory, they get more sustainable revenues from fewer, higher-quality ads, ensuring that content can remain free and open. While we never judge content with our own personal bias, we are proud to support diversity by providing value for the biggest companies in our industry as well as for small websites, supporting everything from journalism to user-generated content across the entire globe.
What can advertisers expect from eyeo’s vision and involvement in the online ecosystem?
We are providing advertisers with the opportunity to reach a unique and highly-attractive audience. With robust ways to target the right people, without compromising their privacy and by showing ads that users actually appreciate, we can establish ways for brands to communicate with their audiences in a respectful manner that provides real value.
How do you ensure that the value exchange stays fair for all parties involved and that they are equally considered?
Firstly, fairness is a fundamental consideration in the types of products and services we develop, where choice, and a balancing of all sides of the online equation drive our development efforts. Additionally, and no less important, we have a qualified and independent organization – the Acceptable Ads Committee (AAC) – acting as the regulatory authority for what constitutes an acceptable type of ad to ensure that we have rules in place that take the legitimate interests of all stakeholders equally into account. (Also, let us not forget that the AAC is composed of representatives from user advocacy groups, publisher groups, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and advertisers specifically to allow all sides a voice).
Any closing thoughts about the future?
For our part, we will continue to strive for balance online and continue to support the internet as a global public resource that is free and open for everyone. We’d like to invite other companies and organizations who feel the same way to join us in paving that path for our communal online future.