Native advertising is no longer the new kid on the block. It’s the kid everybody wants to play with – or at least the majority of the 156 news media companies in 48 countries who participated in a new survey by INMA and Native Advertising Institute (NAI).
“It’s the first-ever global study done on native advertising for newspaper media,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA, and Jesper Laursen, founder of NAI, in a joint statement about the new report and adds:
“Our goal has been to shed light on one of the most important topics and fastest-growing streams of revenue in the industry today.”
Fast-growing indeed. News publishers expect sharp growth in native advertising revenues over the next two years when the overall advertising revenue from native is expected to grow to 25% by 2018 from a level of just 11% in 2015.
So what were the key findings of the report, which also features five native advertising case stories from companies such as Quartz, Sanoma and De Persgroep? We picked out five here. Download the whole survey here.
1. The news media industry has embraced native advertising
Though, traditionally the news media industry has been less likely to work closely together with advertisers than the magazine industry, news media outlets are now more likely to use their storytelling skills for the benefit of advertisers. 48% of news media companies in the survey are already doing some form of native advertising, another 39% are likely to add it as an advertising option and a staggering 89% view native advertising as very important or important to their company.
2. Labelling is an issue
The authors of the report write that the most disturbing finding is that 7% of the news media publishers do not label native advertising at all. Even though this number is somewhat smaller than for publishers in the magazine industry, where the number was 11% of respondents in a survey published earlier this year, it’s still surprisingly high. Apart from the fact that labelling of paid-for content is required by law in most countries, it’s also bad for business to not label. A study on reader experiences in native advertising from the University of Antwerp and Belgian publisher De Persgroep shows 86% of readers “are OK with native advertising” as long as it’s labelled.
3. Written content performs the best
68% of the news media publishers say that written content is the biggest native advertising opportunity, according to the survey. Video and multi-media storytelling come in second and third places respectively with 53% and 45%.
4. The customer is not always right
46% of news media publishers in the survey say that the biggest challenge regarding native advertising is explaining native advertising to advertisers. 44% are challenged with convincing advertisers to tell real stories and 42% find it most challenging to price native advertising. Similar numbers were found in a survey on magazine publishers earlier this year, so it’s fair to say that the customers are not always right when it comes to native advertising and probably need a lot more explaining than for traditional advertising.
5. Traffic is still the most common way to measure
Dwell time, time spent and audience engagements are all important measures when it comes to native advertising, but traffic still comes in at number one with 60% of the news media execs saying that this is how they measure native advertising. Though traffic is most likely combined with other and more qualitative types of measurements, it’s still rather surprising that it tops the list. This probably indicates that native advertising comes in many shapes and forms and will keep developing as its importance grows in the years to come.
About the report:
“Native Advertising Trends 2016: The News Media Industry” features a survey of 156 mostly newspaper media companies in 48 countries conducted in July to September 2016. The report was done in a collaboration between Native Advertising Institute and INMA. Most respondents are members of INMA, representing the leading news media companies in the world.
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Photo credit: Montreal Gazette/ AdobeStock