What Are Native Ads’ Status Among Publishers?

What are native ads’ prospects looking like as 2015 comes to a close? Plus, Quartz’s website homepage design and data-driven publishing with shopper info

First things first: What are native ads, as we know them today? Native advertising is sponsored content crafted by marketers, often in collaboration with in-house studios at digital magazines, that’s intended to “fit in” with articles and videos on a publisher’s site, without misleading readers.

Sound like a fancy way of saying advertorial? Well, sure, but we’ve come a long since the early days of advertorial. How far, and where does the evolution find us? Well, that’s what Digiday asked several publishing executives. Let’s start there today!

What Are Native Ads Doing for Publishers These Days?

Digiday discussed this very question with several attendees at their “WTF Is Native Advertising?” event last week. But they weren’t just casual registrants; these were representatives from the likes of Forbes, Gawker, Mental Floss, Vox, and more.

“The biggest change we’ve seen over the past year with native advertising are our BrandVoice platforms. It’s a focus from an analytic standpoint to go beyond the page view,” Forbes Vice President of Products and Strategy Ann Marinovich told Jordan Valinsky.

“It’s not just about the number of people who are consuming the content, but who those people are, what are they doing afterwards they’re exposed to the content and how engaged they are with the content. There’s a shift in the marketplace where people are really focusing more on how the content is consumed and not just simply that it is consumed.”

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Added Studio@Gawker Executive Director Paul Sundue:

“Number one: Volume. The raw number of requests for proposals has doubled or tripled within the past year, and it’s really a hot topic right now. Number two is the willingness of our advertisers to roll up their sleeves and tell interesting stories.”

Quartz’s Homepage Dedication Is Rare, but Working for Them

While many digital publishers couldn’t care less about theirs, Quartz’s homepage is a focus for them, Digiday reports. Launched in 2014 and scheduled for a refresh this year, the Quartz homepage operates as a continuously update news feed with rapidly growing levels of content, and it’s generating a significant percentage of traffic via its portal.

Can Skimlinks’ Shopper Data Help Publishers Stay Competitive With Platforms?

Skimlinks is a B2B service that allows publishers to place retail links in its content, and it gathers huge levels of action data in doing so. By allowing publishers to participate in selling that data to advertisers, Skimlinks is giving them a leg up when it comes to keeping pace with the likes of Facebook and Snapchat.

“You see the likes of the big platforms like Facebook and Apple and Google, and because they have so much scale, they have so much data, they’re able to make more predictions and they’re able to charge more to advertisers,” Skimlinks Co-Founder and CEO Alicia Navarro told Lucia Moses.

“What Audiences by Skimlinks is giving publisher is a level playing field. We anticipate that in a year’s time, this is going to be a significant revenue source for publishers.”

What are native ads doing for your magazine? Let us know in the comments!

To read more online publishing industry news, visit Digiday.

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