Making the natural progression from the top of content pages to the bottom, publishers are scrolling down – way down – to find more spots for native advertising.
Digiday reports that The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Evolve Media are among those publishers pioneering the use of comment sections for the placement of native ads.
“With the pressures that all publishers are under to keep up with the downward pressures on CPMs, everyone’s looking for alternative monetization,” Evolve’s David Denton told Digiday. “This presents new real estate further down the page that’s not intrusive and more consistent with how we want to present our site.”
Disqus’s current template for sponsored ads in the comments features placement at the top of the section, plus a gray background to delineate it from reader feedback.
The biggest questions for brands like Ziploc and Maker Studios – which are among the first to sign on – will be whether their ads will awkwardly bump up against not-so-nice comments about the content. Let alone the ads themselves. Will loyal readers and frequent commenters – at times a temperamental bunch, to put it gently – accept the presence of ads at all?
Disqus is betting on yes, but they’ll still scale these new native ad placements slowly, “with select publishers that have reasonable, positive commenter communities,” according to Digiday.