Programmatic Native Advertising: Will Digital Magazines Buy In?

As programmatic native advertising makes its rise, publishers are cautious; plus, is time spent with media next big thing in digital advertising?

Programmatic native advertising … it’s quite a mouthful, right? Well, as it stands, digital publishers are worried they might be biting off a little more than they can chew when it comes to this revenue source. Programmatic ad sales itself is just starting to earn many digital magazines‘ trust enough to give it a try, while on the other hand, native advertising content is just starting to hit its stride when it comes to success.

Why mess with a good thing?

Digiday spoke with some digital media companies who are wondering the same thing. Let’s see what they found out!

Are You Excited About Programmatic Native Advertising?

If your answer to that question is no, you’re not alone, Digiday reports.

“Programmatic native advertising is a technique designed to insert marketers’ messages and assets in a publisher or platform’s feed, rather than the margins where ads usually go. Even though programmatic native has only been possible for a couple of months, thanks to the new OpenRTB protocol launched this past spring, plenty of buyers have jumped in,” Max Willens and YuYu Chen write.

“But there’s a problem. A lot of premium publishers, who create a lot of the real estate for these native ads to live on, are taking a much more guarded approach to the burgeoning format. While plenty of publishers, including Time Inc., Condé Nast and PopSugar all dabble in it, many look at programmatic native as a possible threat to the branded-content operations they have invested substantial time and resources in. If a brand can slide into a publisher’s stream of stories for a fraction of the time, cost and energy of a branded-content campaign, why wouldn’t they?”

What Could Prevent Programmatic Ads From Catching On?

All programmatic advertising, not just native, is having a moment right now, but is it sustainable? Will it grow? Digiday reports on five obstacles that could make that difficult.


“Automation can’t happen without having data in the right format, and buyers and sellers are in the early stages of figuring that out. “Steps that need to take place are getting inventory and scripts and metadata into a digital format,” said Scott Stansfield, president of Centriply, an ad agency that’s focused on targeted TV. ‘What we’re finding a lot of times is people are combining data sets that weren’t meant for linear television, and you’re getting these Franken-data sets,’ added Michael Strober, evp of client strategy and ad innovation at Turner Broadcasting. ‘They need to understand the perils of not using the right data,'” Lucia Moses writes.

Time-Based Ads Keep on Spinning Into the Future

How much time are readers spending on your content and products? It’s a great question, and one that could widen digital revenue streams, if only the industry can quantify it reliably. Digiday looks into the time-based advertising trend with a recent piece.

“Many see a viewability standard as prerequisite for time-based buying. The 3MS initiative set standards for display ad viewability on desktop and mobile, but that hasn’t stopped heavyweight media agencies from creating their own definitions for viewable inventory. Without a single standard, it’s hard to drum up interest in the more adventurous project of buying and selling ad units based on how long someone’s seen them,” Willens writes.

“In the abstract, buying ads based on how long they’re viewed makes sense for some advertisers, and publishers are more than happy to sell their inventory at a higher price. But how do you compare the value of an impression to the value of a second, or three seconds, or 10? For all of the impression’s shortcomings as a currency, it’s the unit that brands use to model how much digital tonnage they need to meet their advertising goals. When it comes to time, that is very much a blank slate.”

Will programmatic native advertising be a part of your internet revenue models? Share your thoughts in the comments!

To read more about programmatic native advertising and other industry news, visit Digiday.


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