Over 70% of online publishers use Native Advertising

Native Advertising is everywhere.

“Native advertising” was one of the leading buzzwords in the tech space in 2012. It keeps making waves in 2013 as publishers see an actual benefit of using native advertising to monetize their audiences.

On July 10, 2013, eMarketer released a study where 73% of online publishers claim to use native advertising to monetize their audiences. Only 10% of the publishers stated they did not use native advertising and were not planning to use native advertising in the near future.

73% of publishers use native advertising

73% of publishers use native advertising

For consumers, this means that more likely than not you have seen a native advertisement without even knowing it. For advertisers, this means that now there are publishers across a multitude of verticals where the right audience can be reached. For agencies, it is important to be able to define native advertising for clients.

What is the definition of Native Advertising? 

One of the main problems with Native Advertising is that there is a lot of noise on what Native Advertising actually is. When the banner ad was rolled out, it was easy to explain – it’s an ad unit that fits within this 300 x 250 space. With native advertising, it seems as though there is a very broad description.

Facebook sponsored stories as In Stream Ads are regarded as native ad units:

native advertising on Facebook

In Stream Ads on Facebook

Twitter’s promoted tweets are also native ads:

promoted tweets

Promoted Tweets on Twitter

The Atlantic’s In Stream Ads have also been categorized as native ads:

The Atlantic has In Stream Ads

Native ads on The Atlantic

eMarketer asked US publishers to define Native advertising. There was a multitude of options:

  1. Integration into the design of the publisher’s site and lives on the same domain
  2. Content either provided by, produced in conjunction with or created on behalf of our advertisers that runs within the editorial stream
  3. Clear delineation and labeling as advertising content
  4. Editorial value to the reader and conforms to the reader’s expectations
  5. Contextually relevant, nonstandard advertising units
  6. Content marketing such as sponsored games, infographics, sites, etc.
  7. Highly automated advertising content such as sponsored stories, publisher tweets, etc.

93% of US Publishers surveyed agreed that #1 – Integration into the design of the publisher’s site and lives on the same domain . On the lower end, only 54% of US publishers believed sponsored stories and publisher tweets to be truly “native advertising” ad formats. Below are the numbers on the survey:

How do US Publisher's define "Native Advertising"?

How do US Publisher’s define “Native Advertising”?

It seems as though what we can agree to disagree on is a clear and concise definition of native advertising. At VIRURL we believe that whichever way you define “native advertising” the focus must be on the user experience.

On July 3, 2013 Forbes ran an article by Lori Kozlowski on the Future of Content: How to Improve Ads on the Web and quoted Lee Fentress, VIRURL’s Chief Revenue Officer, saying “I think our new tagline will be Engage, Inform, Entertain”. At VIRURL, we believe there is a huge opportunity in providing a positive experience through the relevancy and entertainment of sponsored content. It is about finding the right piece of sponsored content for the right user at the right time. No easy task but we believe with the right team, the right technology this will be The Next Big Thing. Fun fact: Did you know Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of TV and Broadcasting) selected Virurl as The Next Big Thing in November 2012.

It is clear that display banner ad spending is not going anywhere. Agencies and brands at local and national levels are projected to increase display spending year over year. However, it is still interesting to see a relatively “new” ad format gain so much buzz and traction in a short time period. eMarketer with data from BIA/Kelsey recently estimated that by 2017, the native advertising market will grow to $4.57 billion. That is more than the $3 billion spent in display ads in 2012.

Display ads versus banner ads

Display ads versus banner ads

One thing is for certain, native advertising is not going anywhere. From the looks of it online marketers are adding native advertising to their multi-channel strategies as they have recently adapted to adding social advertising spends, banner ad spends or even search ppc in the past.

Native advertising is present when you’re drinking your morning coffee and reading your favorite online newspaper. Native advertising is in front of you when you seek your local mid-day news report. Native advertising is everywhere. Regardless of whether people can agree on a definition of native advertising – one thing is for certain – the need for high quality branded content is on the rise as is the need for a native advertising technology to find the right audience.

At VIRURL we’re excited about this massive opportunity. If you’re interested in joining our team or have any questions on native advertising please use the contact form below

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