Native Advertising: By the Numbers

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Recently, the Digital News Report 2015, an invaluable annual study of digital trends and developments published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, came out.  The report is available in PDF format for you to download as well.

However, with Native Advertising being so prominent in the rounds this month, with some major players looking to change the game, we’ve swept through the report with a fine tooth comb and extracted the most important insights as far as the sphere of Native Ads go for you to absorb in one convenient pool of invaluable knowledge.

The research itself was collected through data from over 20K individuals in a dozen countries with a strong focus in the US and UK on the subjects of Native Advertising.  The general conclusions seem to show that there is a rising trend in users to prefer native advertising over the more traditional forms if the content is honest and engaging.  Read on to see it all by the numbers.


Consumer Views: Native Advertising vs Traditional Marketing

The trends show that whilst many are still wary of sponsored content (a third of readers feel deceived after reading an article that turns out to be promoted content), generally people are feeling done with the more traditional forms of online marketing.  30% of the research subjects from the US and UK not only confirm that they find banner ads distracting, but that they tend to eschew websites that utilize such forms of advertising.

Static banner advertising is more tolerable for readers than video advertising, with pop-up advertising being seen as the worst offender of all.

In the same vein, 55-6% of subjects within the age group of 18-24 from the UK and US have installed ad blocking software on their devices (be they desktop, mobile, and/or tablet).

Native Advertising Trends

While the general trend towards Native Advertising is far more positive, especially in the younger audience (19% of 18-24 year olds and 15% of 25-34 year olds in the US responded that their attitude towards a brand a well as the news source increases through Native Advertising), there does also seem to be a significant correlation between the context and content of the ad and it’s medium.  Ads that fit the tone of their medium and offer engaging content fare far better than ads that do not fit or offer quality engagement and information.

 Garnering Trust vs Fostering Disappointment

The study showcases a definite rise in how savvy respondents are becoming when it comes to online advertising.  At least 33% of readers in the UK and 43% in the US reported feeling deceived and disappointing when they realized a story was sponsored after the fact.  Whereas 22% of US readers and 14% from the UK feel that branded content, if handled well, can be an interesting way to find out about a topic or subject that is interesting.

Native Advertising Perceptions

Furthermore, 50% of users understand that advertising is a necessary part of online publishing and accept that it helps to keep bringing them news and content free of charge.

These numbers indicate a general inclination for a rising acceptance of quality native advertising replacing the more traditional types of marketing if and when it is handled correctly, ethically, and with clear transparency.   The bulk of the report in the native ads section, as well as the number of clear and concise charts within, can further drive this point home.

Going Forward, a Three Way Relationship

What seems to be clearly evident by the numbers as well as the testimonials on the pages of the report is that there is a definite potential for native advertising to, not only begin to replace the rapidly outdated forms of online marketing, but also to find a comfortable niche between consumer interest, advertiser needs, and publisher profits.

The one fact that seems prevalent in the possibility of the above coming to fruition, however, is the need for advertising to move away from low quality mediums of distrust and towards quality content put forward in a transparent and engaging manner.

In short, native ads can provide a win – win – win scenario, but only if and when you access your creativity and start impressing the readers and advertisers alike!

About the author


Writer-ish fella with a penchant for penchants. Content crafting for Avocarrot with a wee bit of narrative game design to boot.

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