What Is Native Advertising and Its Impact on Consumers?

What is native advertising? You know all about it, right? But what about your readers?

We’ve covered the question “What is native advertising?” several times, stressing that it’s not a new component of publishing revenue, but rather a fresh take on advertorial for the digital age. Another term for it? Sponsored content. In other words, content that brands craft themselves to resemble surrounding magazine content and then pay for placement, or content that brands pay the magazine’s in-house studio to create plus place. This includes article-like text, video, infographics, and more.

One important caveat here is that brands – or the publishers they’re paying, for that matter – cannot, by law, mislead consumers with native advertising. That line has been bent, stretched, blurred, and seemingly redrawn over the years, with various parties weighing in. But rarely have we had the opportunity to hear what readers actually think about the native ads they’re expected to digest.

MinOnline reports on a recent study that provides just such an opportunity. Let’s start there today!

What Is Native Advertising Doing to Your Relationship With Readers?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau and Edelman Berland surveyed 5,000 people in New York City and Washington, D.C., on their thoughts about native advertising after seeing samples and then visiting sites.

“The survey showed that in-feed ads were cited as both the least annoying and most interesting with 86% agreeing that ads were necessary for them to receive free online content. When shown examples of in-feed ads, 82% of business news readers, 85% of entertainment news readers and 41% of news readers felt the content was clearly from a sponsor. These totals correlate to the 45% of business news readers and 44% of entertainment news readers who felt the ads enhanced the website experience, compared to only 27% of news site readers. … In determining consumer interest in a native ad, authority, relevance and trust are critical to the format. Consumers cited all three by high margins in determining whether the ad was worth pursuing. … Focus group members advised that publishers play a critical role in ensuring brands learn to tell stories—not just pitch goods—and that only brands that fit the site be allowed in. The credibility of the site itself confers credibility onto the advertiser, readers say,” MinOnline reports.


“That’s all well and good, but consider the source of this study – an ad tech association and an agency. They were driving the examples shown to readers and they excluded the content ‘recommendation’ networks. A survey from content marketing company Contently recently found 66.6% of those surveyed felt they had been deceived by sponsored articles posing as standard editorial and 57% said they preferred banner ads to sponsored posts. Additionally, 53% said they didn’t trust sponsored content.”

Is Rodale Publishing Readying for a Move Into TV?

Rodale Publishing has positioned itself as one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking media companies in the business, and they’ve now set their sights on television. MinOnline reports that Rodale has signed a partnership agreement with United Talent Agency to produce scripted and unscripted programs.

The Latest Publishing Personnel Moves: Bloomberg, Ebony, The Onion, Hearst, and More

MinOnline reports on some recent door revolving:

Bloomberg Pursuits has named Ali Salama publisher.

Parent Johnson Publishing Company has tapped Kierna Mayo for editor-in-chief and Kyra Kyles as head of digital at Ebony.

After more than a decade in the position, Steve Hannah is stepping down as CEO of The Onion. He will remain as Chairman.

Hearst has named Jana Gale new executive creative director, group marketing.

U.S. News & World Report has hired Bill Frischling as vice president and launch executive for the publisher’s digital real estate offshoot.

Robb Report has named John Ruvolo chief digital revenue officer; Paige McCrensky senior vice president, marketing; and Joseph Gallagher senior vice president, digital partnerships.

What is native advertising doing for your digital magazine? Has there been a response from readers? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about native advertising in the news, visit MinOnline.


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