Native Ads are Taking Over, and Every Publisher Wants More

While traditional newspapers are becoming a dying breed, online news publications are growing their revenue quickly thanks to native advertising. Over the last few years, startup companies like Taboola and Outbrain grew rapidly with the help of large publishers like CNN, Fox News and other household names.

Now that the industry has matured, these same publishers are taking stronger control of their native inventory in order to monetize it even better. They want to grab a larger percentage of the media sold on their websites, while also deploying native ads in more customized formats that these ‘established’ native networks don’t support.

CNN and Sharethrough recently formed a partnership to expand native ads on all of CNN’s various properties. James Robinson explains on the sharethrough blog.

CNN International Commercial Takes Digital Advertising To The Next Level With New Sharethrough Partnership

New ad formats on CNN Digital platforms include instant play native video, graphic text over video, infographics, long-form video, articles and galleries to increase engagement across all digital platforms, focused on mobile. All native content is labelled as “Sponsor content” and includes clear disclosures to ensure transparency with the user.

Read more here…

Many other publishers are also taking steps to better control their native inventory. The New York Times is taking it even further. Recently the NY Times published a 360 degree native video ad for GE. They’re going places that traditional native ad networks simply don’t support. In fact, they even went as far as to acquire a marketing agency to bolster their native and VR efforts. Sara Guaglione wrote an article on MediaPost where explains how The New York Times intends to grow their native ads offerings.

New York Times Acquires ‘Fake Love,’ Ups Native Ad Services

Sebastian Tomich, senior vice president of advertising and innovation, stated that NYTCO has previously worked with Fake Love and it was “impressed with their experiential and creative skills.” The two companies partnered on a VR video ad to promote the Weinstein Company movie “Carol: Dearest…”. Tomich said the company will “pair [Fake Love’s] capabilities with our ad products on The Times with T Brand Studio as we expand into producing campaigns off of The Times and into the fast-growing worlds of VR and AR.”

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Traditional news channels and newspapers are not the only veterans jumping on native advertising. In the last 2 years, Yahoo grew their own native advertising platform named “Gemini”. Keep in mind that although Yahoo still provides search engine advertising services, Yahoo actually gets more engagement in their news service.

Yahoo actually one of the largest and most popular online publications in the United States. Alexa.com ranks Yahoo.com as the 5 biggest website in the USA — above any news website in America. Large websites like Yahoo attract lots of page views, and therefore offer many opportunities to monetize with native advertising. Those page views go to news articles covering every popular topic that you would see on any news website. With that in mind, Gemini makes perfect sense when considered with this context.

To see the impact of Gemini on Yahoo’s otherwise failing organization, you only need to look at the numbers. Recently, Yahoo published an infographic on their tumblr page showing the rapid growth of their native ad service.

The State of Native Advertising

With Yahoo’s 1B+ monthly visitors and an average of 375B+ monthly native ad requests, we have a ton of insight on the state of native advertising. Looking at our first half of 2016, the global native ad data from third-party publishers across web and app properties speaks for itself. Our partners benefit from this insight to increase ROI and so can you!
click to read the full PDF infographic

Clearly native advertising is a mature and highly valuable ad format. CNN, The New York Times, Yahoo, and many other publishers are all trying to grab their piece of this very lucrative advertising market.

With this new and expanding ad inventory, advertisers could expect advertising prices for native to flat line or even fall. However, due to the demand for native outpacing the available supply of quality ad space you should expect native to only get more pricey over time.

Pay attention to the new and up coming trends. If you’re an agile agency, then you should leverage the newest formats while prices are low. Large traditional advertisers tend to level the market and inflate ad rates with their branding plays. Native is still under valued, but that might not last very long.

Image Credit: Yahoo Tumblr