In the last few months, the amount of BAT received per ad view has fallen dramatically. The latest reduction alone has reduced the distribution rate on some ads to as low as 0.01 BAT. This has outraged many users and I myself was initially shocked at this reduction as it was previously 0.05 BAT. However, looking into it this is a good thing for the browser and is just a function of what is going on in the world.
Recently BAT tokens have skyrocketed in value to roughly $0.33 and it was not that long ago that they were just $0.17-$0.20 a BAT. The way that BAT rewards function means that this increase in value alone would lower the amount of BAT that individuals would get as the 16.530 BAT I have earned this month is roughly $5.94 alone. The team behind Brave was quickly stuck with a huge issue as companies who advertise were only going to pay X amount and so as the token value skyrocketed this severely impacted the amount that they had stated users had already earned. Given the issue presented to them, the team had to quickly and rapidly lower the rate that could be earned so that the browser did not pay out more money than it earned. Since they state that the amount you earn is fluid this allows them at the end of the month to analyze if they are going to add more BAT or lower the amount you are owed. It's not hard to imagine the outrage if they kept the amount the same but then only issued 20% of the BAT the dashboard stated.
Another big thing that I feel that people are missing is the huge growth in the Brave Browser this year and how advertising is a category that companies are massively scaling back on. In June the company announced the daily active user amount at 5 million while it was just 2 million the year prior. While this growth led to more companies using Brave to advertise it also contributed to reduced rewards due to more hands being in the "pot". When COVID-19 hit companies rushed to cover themselves and traditional companies had to slash budgets with advertising being the largest target. This evaporated the momentum that Brave had built up that allowed for huge growth and payout remaining at the levels they were. Additionally, people were stuck at home where they would browse the web much more so I would guess the amount of time on web browsers increased dramatically during this time further draining the advertising campaigns.
The team made the tough choice to make sure that they would be able to keep the project afloat and not burn through all the money they have. While I like many others use Brave for the rewards of it you cannot deny the added security of the browser which alone makes it worthy of using. I have a feeling that if Brave did not offer rewards and never had the browser with its incredible ad-blocking/tracking features would have caught on alone. Additionally, no matter what choice was made the team was going to be criticized for what they did. However, what they did allows the project to continue while the economy and companies recover. As the companies do this they will increase budgets and this will allow for the rewards to be increased once again.
I would assume that the amount of daily active users will take a pretty solid hit this next month once people see their payouts and decide that it is not worth it. This could provide an artificial bump in BAT token rewards but I would not expect it to last until the world recovers more and companies begin to spend more. How long this takes is an unknown and I would assume some companies like Amazon will recover much faster than others like AT&T who have advertised on the Brave Browser.
The big take away from all of what I have said is to stay calm at the worst you have a much more secure browser than you typically would as the team has taken the path to protect itself to continue development and enhance security. Much like the world right now this will run its course and it will get better. Companies and the economy need more time to heal to return to the production levels they were at but once this happens the payouts should return to what they were!
If you don't have the Brave Browser already I would highly recommend it and would appreciate if you use my referral link -> https://brave.com/cod116