Transcription Episode 85

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Tanya. Tanya is the CEO at Bitmedia.

She is responsible for basically increasing the company’s revenue by identifying and developing new business opportunities as well as expanding brand presence in the market. Basically, Bitmedia is a crypto advertising platform. They’ve been around for a while.

They help crypto projects get to the right audience and the right publishers. On the other side of things, Tanya is also currently working on a PhD in crypto regulation at Vienna University and which kind of complements her existing MSc in International Business and Law. So this was a fun conversation.

We talked about what Bitmedia does, the next big thing with Bitmedia, the bull market and just general advice on folks that are building in this space. I can’t wait for you guys to hear this. Let’s deep dive right in.

Hi Tanya, thank you so much for making the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? I’m good, thank you. How about you? I’m doing really, really well.

Thank you for making the time to speak to me today. So for our listeners, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into Web3? Yeah, sure. So my name is Tanya.

I’m the CEO of Bitmedia and I’m a pure crypto enthusiast, so to say. I’ve been working in the blockchain niche since 2014, so quite a long time as of now. I’m working with Bitmedia, so we do advertising and marketing for crypto projects.

So we were one of the first advertising platforms in the niche. Yes, I’ve been studying international law and international business in Ukraine, and also in Vienna. So basically, that’s it.

All right, that’s lovely. So you are on the marketing side as well as on the legal side, you are studying. How does that sort of come together when you’re working for this, as balancing as a role, like as a CEO, and you have pursuits as well in crypto regulation.

So how do you kind of, you know, make sure that you’re balancing both these things out? And how do you see your academic background influencing your decisions and strategies at Bitmedia? Well, when it comes to marketing and law, it really makes sense when you’re dealing with crypto products, to be honest, because there are so many regulations, and I’ve been studying them. When I was doing my master’s thesis, back then it was the ICO, was the hot topic, and I was studying whether it makes sense, whether there are some regulations. And over that time, there were hardly any.

But in my work, knowing law makes sense when it comes to advertising and commodities and businesses, because lots of governments and lots of countries have different regulations when it comes to advertising. So it is often the case that clients come to us, they want to run campaigns, they need some help with geography, like where they are allowed to advertise their products, where they’re not allowed, where they need some special licenses and so on and so forth. And even sometimes knowing law helps to come up with some marketing messages and so on and so forth.

So it is actually useful. And for Bitmedia as well, well, we’re an advertising company, but we’re dealing with crypto. We also have to talk to some regulators sometimes and to deal with governments, because lots of banks and lots of countries don’t really understand the crypto part.

And when they see crypto, like just generally, where it’s crypto, it scares them a little bit. So yeah, I have to explain that we’re more in the marketing side, so we’re not actually a protocol, coin or something else. Right.

Yeah. So, you know, you’ve made a fair point that marketing and the law and the policy, they’re kind of intuitively related and, you know, in a very inherent way, perhaps, that, you know, your messaging has to be just right, keeping the legal aspect in mind, depending on the geography that you’re in. So how did you even get into Web3? Like, let’s take a step, you know, even further back.

And I would love to know how you went down the rabbit hole that is Web3. Well, basically, when I started working with Bitmedia, I didn’t know anything about crypto. And I just, I was just more keen on marketing side.

And yeah, then I joined Bitmedia. And so it happens. So basically, it’s quite simple.

And I started to get to know everything about Bitcoin, Ethereum was about to launch, but then it just launched. And it just became more and more interesting. And basically, I was more, so to say, observing how the niche, how the infrastructure in the niche was building up, how different projects were appearing.

So, yeah. Right. So can you tell us a little bit or give us an overview about the services that Bitmedia does offer to crypto projects? Sure.

So we do advertising and marketing for crypto projects. So, well, our main product is advertising. We’re an advertising platform.

We’re fully self-serve, and we’re totally built from scratch in-house. And our niche is crypto products. So we do have the advertiser who comes in who wants to promote their product, project, or whatever it is.

And we say that, yeah, you can do that. They say that I want to show my ads to people who live in India. And I want to show these banners, these banners, and these banners.

And we, on our site, help them to get connected with publishers, which are websites who monetize their content, their traffic, by showing these ads. And the publishers that we work with are purely crypto-related. We don’t accept any other publishers.

So it’s either media outlets related to crypto, or these are just block explorers, or some different crypto games. So, yeah, we help advertisers to basically spread the word about themselves. And on the other hand, we help publishers or crypto websites to make money by serving ads, by promoting these kinds of products.

And it’s all done in one place, and it’s all done pretty simple. And apart from this, we also have a marketplace where users can order some press releases, podcasts, newsletters, and other kinds of articles, content, and so on and so forth. We do offer influencer marketing, apart from that.

So if the client wants something else apart from advertising, we have also a bunch of side products, which we offer to them. Okay, that sounds wonderful. So what kind of sets Bitmedia apart in the crypto advertising landscape? Well, first of all, that we’re purely crypto-related, so it’s not difficult to find the audience.

If you need a crypto-related audience, you don’t have to look for… You don’t have to spend a lot of budget to find it, because if you come to a traditional network, for example, like, I don’t know, like Google, you will have to spend some money, spend some time to find the right audience. We are connecting with exactly relevant audience. Second thing which sets us apart is this kind of marketplace, because we’re a one-stop-shop solution for everything related to crypto marketing services.

Basically, if the company which is doing some kind of, like, which plans to start with marketing activities doesn’t have their own team and their own capacity to look for content creators, to look for where to, like, publish their articles, doesn’t have any capacity to write these articles, we can cover this, and we can also help with setting up an advertising campaign. So basically, we can more or less overtake their marketplace and activities and provide them with a kind of solution that will be useful for them. So this is one thing, and the other thing is that we also do work a lot on audiences, and as of now, one of our competitive advantages is that within the crypto niche, we already differentiate different audiences related to NFT, like gaming, so we can help projects even within the crypto space target not just simply everyone, but the users who are interested in NFTs, in games, in, I don’t know, in trading, and so on and so forth.

Right, so can you, you know, because you’ve worked with, like, throughout the spectrum, you worked with DeFi projects, you worked with mining companies, exchanges, can you give us a bit of an insight on how perhaps the geography differs for each of these particular niches when it comes to advertising? Well, it really depends on the project, because, and on the strategy of the project, whether they take the global approach, or whether they take up the regional approach. If we’re talking about exchanges, for example, and mining companies, by the way, as well, they more are of a kind of geographical approach, so it really depends on where they have licenses to operate, or where they’re looking to, if it’s, if it comes to mining, it’s mining pool, for example, where they are looking to, to connect new miners, and these kind of things, so they kind of come, and they know what they want, like, they know where they are allowed to operate, where they are not allowed to operate. When it comes to DeFi, different DACs, which are also exchanges, but decentralized exchanges, it really doesn’t make sense, because to them, for them to differentiate, they usually take a global approach, but what is most wanted by our customers is usually tier one traffic, which is the United States, Europe, these, these kind of countries who are, like, well, off-economists, so to say, and also apart from that, we have a bunch of gaming projects, which are in search of Brazil, Latin American countries, Spanish-speaking markets, so to say, yeah, so, so more or less, this is it, and yeah, some projects are just looking for, for a global expansion, so they don’t differentiate geos they’re targeting, and they can start just, like, for example, if they start with advertising, and they don’t know what, what they should make a focus on, they start with global targeting, and then they exclude some countries which do not work, do not perform well for them.

Right, right, absolutely, I think mostly Web3 projects are being built for a global audience, but in some cases, obviously, there are niches that they do want to cater to a certain demographic, because of, you know, policy, or any kind of licensing, if they are, you know, working on that end, so I understand what, you know, what you bring to the table, but I would love to understand a little bit more when it comes to crypto advertising, it has been a bit of a challenge, for projects themselves to go out and market themselves, especially, you know, using the conventional methods of marketing, how have you been able to sort of, sort of been able to circumvent it with your experience, you guys have been around since 2014, that’s a long time, and you guys have seen over two cycles. Yeah, this is the third bull run. So we actually, as a company are basically a solution, which is an alternative to Facebook, Google, and these kind of big guys in traditional advertising space.

So we, when providing this, our advertising services, we don’t use their help. So basically, we have our own inventory, our own publishers, who deal with us directly, and who have quite a big audience, so to say. So basically, when Google and Facebook in 2017, banned ICOs, or everything related to crypto advertising, we were so to say, you know, win-win situation, because we were the only place, one of the few competitors back then, where the advertisers, the crypto related advertisers could come and still get their ads published.

So this is basically a benefit for us, that this kind of thing is banned. And this is also like on the publisher site and websites, lots of websites are also not allowed for Google, like not admitted to Google, because they’re crypto related. So they cannot monetize their traffic.

So if you have a news outlet related to crypto, until recent time, it was that it was prohibited to put Google ads to earn money from showing ads. So yeah, we’re kind of alternative to that. Right.

So what are the kind of platforms that you’re able to distribute these advertisements on? Are these mostly blogs, or crypto media platforms? These are crypto media platforms, news outlets, like, I don’t know, any, basically any media outlet where they have news related to crypto. We have lots of them among our publishers. We also have blogs, we also have blog explorers, for example, when you’re sending a transaction, BTC transaction, or Ethereum, or whatever transaction to someone else, you send the link to how the transaction goes, whether there are confirmations.

So this is blog explorer thing. And we show our ads there. There are also crypto games where our ads are shown.

So yeah, more or less, this is it. Some trackers. And yeah, these kind of products.

Right. So building relationships, you know, in crypto, let’s talk a little about that, maintaining, you know, any kind of relationship in the crypto space, it can be a little challenging due to just several factors, right? We are an industry that really never sleeps, we’re truly global. How do you approach establishing partnerships and collaborations and making sure that you know, you’re able to sustain them with these diverse range of crypto and blockchain projects? So we have a sales team in our team who do this relationship building, and we have business development who is in charge of that.

But for us, as a platform, it is important to build and maintain relationships with both advertisers and publishers. So yeah, we just talk to them. Most of the time we attend a lot of conferences, our team is present in most of the crypto events.

So we travel a lot, we meet with them in person, we talk to them, communicate, we’re friends with lots of our clients. So yeah, and also, in the end, it all depends on the person you’re dealing with. Yeah, because, you know, it’s just like, it is business, but still, sometimes it’s important to be friends with the people you work with.

So we try to just communicate with them to offer good conditions for advertising or publishing ads. And if something is wrong, we just try to ask what’s happening to solve the problem, if there is any problem, and just to keep in touch most of the time with them. So with our clients, this is how it usually works.

And when it comes to advertisers, we’re also helping them to set up a campaign to do most of this stuff. So we basically try to overtake the marketing activities and execute it when it comes to advertising and execute it on their behalf. Okay, yeah.

So this particular journey of yours, like over several years now in Web3 and in crypto advertising specifically, what are the kind of challenges that you have seen? And how have you seen the space evolve in all of these years while working, you know, with BidMedia? So how the space actually changed a lot, even if you compare it to 2014, when there was hardly anything to what we have right now, it’s totally two different things. So I remember, like 2017 was the first time when the space started changing, actually, because until then it was mostly crypto geeks, developers, and there were hardly any women in this place. And it was a kind of, like, you know, I don’t know, very secluded community of those people related to crypto when it was 2017, the ICO time.

Yeah. It was the first like, major, I don’t know, like major time when the crypto became more or less widespread, so to say, because there was this started, like, even when you attended the conferences, this started, some women started appearing, which was already a good sign, and some suited men. And there was some interest from, from the financial side, like traditional finance and crypto.

And apart from the computer geeks, there started to appear some like business developers, people who are more about the talk, talking thing. So not, not the technical, not the technical side of the story. So this was, this was one, one phase when the community started changing, changing, and the niche started changing, then we had the bear market.

And I remember, it was more infrastructural time. So lots of projects died out. During this ICO time, there were so many projects who didn’t make it.

And so, and then it was time to build. And I remember, we were going to some traditional startup conferences, for example, when 2017 was like, oh, you’re dealing with crypto, tell me more about it. Like everyone was super excited about that.

But next year, 2018, 2019. Yeah, you’re dealing with crypto, that’s not interesting to me. People were not, not really excited about the crypto side of, like, technologies in general.

But this was for crypto projects. So this was a major time when they were building and lots, lots of infrastructure appeared for traditional finance back then. It was the time when we were seeing like custodial services appearing, which is very important thing for, for traditional financial institutions so that they could actually come to crypto.

And there was still a lot of interest from the traditional finance side. But like the solutions that were being built back then were more to, to keep the ecosystem going, I would say so. And then, then it also changed with the next bull run in 2020.

Like with the Corona and so on. Then we had this NFT stage. Well, basically, wherever you went to any conferences, they were talking about all of these crazy pictures.

And it was more, like more artists started to come to the niche. And there were more games and the community changed a little bit again. So it was more about gamers, about artists.

There were some, still some traditional DeFi and, well, traditional crypto projects, if I can say so, because it’s super new, everything is super new. But it was more about gaming, about NFTs, about these kinds of things. Right now, during this bear market, it also changed.

It was, I believe, the more DeFi time. And for now, but we see, we’ll see what is to come with this bull run, which projects are going to be mainstream. So yeah, it was, it was changing a lot.

The niche was changing a lot and it is, it is still changing and the people are changing who come to the projects, who are working with projects. And there are more and more people actually coming to crypto right now, because back then in like 2015, 2016, even 2017, it was easy to know most of the people who are dealing with crypto, like who worked for some companies, because there were hardly any. Right now, there are so many different people who come to crypto projects, who work on creating something new and exciting.

Right. Yeah, absolutely. I think the crypto space has evolved over the years.

As you mentioned, different niches kind of shined at different points. And currently, again, you know, we’ve talked about over the years how that has changed, but currently, which niche do you think stands to shine in this current bull market? Well, I think it’s going to be gaming. A part of this is going to be gaming, just like the previous bull run was about like Metaverse and all of this kind of thing, but nobody actually managed to build a good Metaverse or Web3 game, I think.

But still, what we witnessed during the bear market cycle, that lots of games were still being built. And there were so many investments in gaming, crypto gaming sector, despite the fact that the price was down and everything was like related to crypto was not really popular. I think it’s going to be gaming for sure.

Maybe it’s going to be something blockchain and AI, because it’s like AI is the talk of the town right now. So for sure, someone will combine blockchain and try to figure out some projects about that. But yeah, and it’s going to be the DeFi time for sure, because there are so many exciting DeFi projects in this space.

Right. So now, you know, it’s moving towards perhaps the publishers. Your platform emphasizes providing publishers with control over their advertising incomes.

Can you tell us a little about how Bitmedia achieves this for publishers and how can publishers who are interested perhaps can sign up with you? Yeah, sure. So we offer very flexible solutions for publishers. We always communicate with them and ask them what they are interested in, what they want, what they don’t want.

So we offer CPM floors. So if it’s a really cool publisher and they want to earn, they have some, I don’t know, thresholds for earning, then we communicate with them and offer them how much they could earn with us for serving our ads. And we agree on a particular price, which may be different in many cases.

So this is one of the points of control. We also help them to set everything up. And what we help them with is also we promote their additional services on the marketplace.

So that it’s not just advertising that we’re selling. If the publisher is writing articles, and so on and so forth, we also help them monetize these kinds of things by offering these things to our clients. Apart from that, we also have the feature like backup ads.

So if the publisher has our advertising unit ad block, they set it up on their website. And for example, they have other advertisers, or they have direct advertisers or other networks or something else, they could set a backup within our ad unit so that they would be showing not on our ads, but also ads that they have on their own site. So this is very comfortable for them because they also decide on how many ads, our ads they can show, how many other ads they can show, and these kinds of things.

This gives them a lot of freedom, I believe so. And another thing that we do have for publishers is we have direct advertising. So if you want to serve ads for your direct customer, who comes to you directly and says, hey, I want to pay you this amount of money, could you place my ad units? We offer a service where they can absolutely for free run a campaign on their website, which will be like the closed, the direct one, and the publishers will be paid by the advertiser directly.

So this is what they can set up themselves. They don’t need additional things for that. And this all they can combine in one place.

So we provide them with the supply, they could also set some alternatives to that supply, and if they have a direct advertiser, they don’t have to worry about the technology, how to set it up, how to count impressions, get statistics, and all of these things, they have it already in place. This is the kind of services that we provide. Another thing that we’re working on right now for publishers is the targeting for publishers.

For instance, they want to show some projects on exchanges, for example, they don’t want to show ads of exchanges in the US, let’s say. So they will be able to do that. And they will be able, they are actually able right now to filter out projects they want to advertise and they don’t want to advertise.

So yeah, we offer quite a lot of flexibility for publishers, I believe so. Right. Okay, that’s wonderful.

It’s good to know that, you know, you’re supporting publishers and content creators in the right way. What is the next big thing for, you know, you guys as a company, for Bitmedia? Is there any particular milestone or any new innovation that you’re bringing to the table that, you know, you are very excited about? Yes, actually, at the moment, we’re working on creating crypto audiences. This is the next innovation we’re going to be bringing, we’re going to be offering audiences based on their interests.

Basically, this is the kind of DMP, like the data management platform, which is usually present for like large advertising places, spaces like Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, like just like the giants of advertising, so to say, what we’re working on right now is to, we’re going to be able to create these audiences and allow our clients target like high net worth individuals, people interested in NFTs, or people interested in particularly these NFT projects, or like some particular games or whatever. Basically, what we want to provide to our customers is like interest-based targeting, and this is what we’re working hard on right now. Okay, that’s wonderful.

That’s good.

Tell me personally for you, Tanya, what is next? What are you really excited about in the Web3 space, especially now when it seems like we’re starting off and kicking off a bull market? Well, I’m personally excited about what’s to come, this bull market, because I believe that this bull market is going to be huge, taking into account the fact that the ETF was approved and I’m excited about the new people who are going to come to the market, to the crypto. It’s really interesting and thrilling to see what’s going to come next.

And yeah, maybe that’s it. And I’m excited to see how basically the crypto, the Bitcoin, is going to be more widespread, more adopted by regular people, because when it comes to crypto, people are quite skeptical about it. And they say that like, yeah, but this is not your money, you can touch it, there’s no value of it, and so on and so forth.

And I’m really excited to see how all these people are going to come to the market. Right. Yeah, it’s always exciting to see new folks get into the space, because we are so excited about building in this space.

And it’s great to see fellow entrepreneurs and builders get their first taste of crypto. So I do believe that that is one of the more exciting things in any bull or bear run. Now, taking an even more macro approach and perhaps looking at the ecosystem in a macro way, would you have any recommendations for, you know, just builders and content creators that are just starting off their work in the crypto space? Well, for the content creators, I believe it’s very important to differentiate which projects they’re working with.

Because actually, influencer marketing is another big thing, not just in crypto, but in general. But right now, crypto is also coming to this kind of marketing, because more and more crypto bloggers, crypto YouTubers appear in the space right now. And for them, it’s very important to differentiate which kind of projects they’re working with, because they’re associated with the projects they’re promoted in some kind of way.

And crypto is notorious for having not just white and clean projects, but also for those that end up being a scam. So I would suggest to make a profound research before engaging into like advertising activities with this or that kind of project. And for builders, well, I believe that like one should just build their product.

And that’s it. And be wise when it comes to allocating budgets during because not the bull market is this this kind of thing, which is not going to last forever. It’s it will end up eventually.

Right. Yes, absolutely. Yeah.

What comes out, you know, goes up, comes down. And we’ve seen that we’ve seen that with multiple cycles. Yeah.

But the thing is that in crypto, the cycles are a little short. Yeah. So, you know, we have sadly we are running out of time and I would love to hear more from you in terms of, you know, because this is like a very boilerplate sort of a question, but I would love to know how we can perhaps get more diversity in this space.

And what is your take on that? Because you’re somebody from marketing. That is that is a problem that is a kind of student is stood the test of time, so to say. How would you perhaps from your perspective, how do you think we can make the space more inclusive? In terms of new people or in terms of new people as well as, you know, just just getting more diversity in the space and making sure that, you know, females and people who are underrepresented are able to feel included and feel right while building you? Well, to be honest, I think like when it comes to female, I’m a female myself.

I can say that the space is getting more and more inclusive right now. So it’s getting more friendly. But I think in general, to make this like to add more diversity to the space, we the space needs some easier, easy to understand projects because crypto itself is quite like the blockchain, the crypto, the whole technology is quite cumbersome.

And a lot of people don’t deal with it because they don’t understand it. So I believe that in order to to to add more diversity, one needs just more more projects that are super simple as ABC one, two, three, just like with the ETF thing, like people who don’t know anything about crypto and don’t know how to set up their wallet or just come to an exchange or so on and so forth can just come to their broker and buy the Bitcoin ETF, for example. Like I believe that to add diversity, we need more projects like this because like when it comes to women, women also like some, I would say, some simple to understand things just like any other people.

So, yeah, this is this is one thing I believe that this is very important. All right. OK, those are good suggestions.

Now, before we wrap this up, Tanya, I would love to know from you, this is something I ask every, you know, guest who comes on the show. You’ve been someone who’s been who was perhaps not native to crypto when you started your journey in the Web3 space, but you took the leap anyway. And now you are fully immersed and you are taking giant leaps forward, working in this space.

If somebody else is perhaps, you know, working with the same similar dilemma that they don’t know whether they want to really start working in Web3 and they are confused because they find the space very esoteric, like you said, it’s perhaps it doesn’t come across as something simple. Right. It’s a little intimidating.

What would be your suggestions to them for them to start living on blockchain? Well, I believe one should should try to understand what the technology is about, because for me personally, it’s about I like the technology. I like the mindset of people who are in the space because the space has a particular mindset. It is the kind of, you know, the people who are not rebellious, but still are a bit not friendly to banking system, to these centres of traditional finance and so on and so forth.

So who are more like a peer to peer approach? I believe that the crypto is a peer to peer thing and the people who work within the space are also of a particular like this kind of mindset. When someone wants to work within the Web3 space or generally deal with the Web3 space, I believe that they have to have to sit down and think whether they are whether they actually support this kind of approach, what this is something for them or whether they are looking for something more traditional, something more centralised. I think that this is one of the most important thing, because when you’re working with something, you have to believe in it.

Absolutely. I think without, you know, the belief, obviously, no matter what amount of effort you put in, it’ll go away. So that is a very good suggestion.

And with that, I’m saying, you know, I’m kind of sad to let you go, but we’ve run out of time. Any parting words, Tanya, before we wrap this up? Well, I would like to thank you for the time that we spent together. It was really nice.

And yeah, well, looking forward to the next Bull Run and hope that it will be super exciting. Absolutely. You and me both.

I think all the builders are looking forward to the upcoming Bull Run and just building and making sure that there is greater adoption in Web3 with this cycle as well. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Tanya. Thank you so much for making the time to speak to us today.

Transcribed by Go Unlimited to remove this message.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *