Scale and charlatans: native advertising’s big challenges
The future of the banner ad looks bleaker by the day, and so do the prospects of the publishers who rely on it for the bulk of their revenue.
The industry reaction so far is, of course, native advertising, the catch-all term for ad content that mimics the form and context of the content that surrounds it. But there are kinks in any new paradigm, and native is no exception. Here are some of the key challenges facing the push, according to attendees at the Collision conference in Las Vegas. Their answers, edited for length and clarity:
Shaul Olmert, co-founder and CEO, PlayBuzz
The main challenge with native advertising is scale. It is being produced and distributed by a small number of publishers that claim to have mastered the art of content marketing and social amplifications. Most brands, agencies and publishers feel that native advertising is a mystery which they don’t know how to produce in-house. In practice, like any new form of creative (much like banner ads in the late nineties, for instance), it requires some practice and experimentation, but at the end of the day those who know their brand attributes and story best are in the best position to produce native ads around it.
Dan Greenberg, CEO, Sharethrough
In a world where ads fit in naturally to the stream of other content, the biggest challenge for modern publishers is to maximize revenue while preserving and protecting editorial integrity and user experience. This challenge is especially relevant for publishers and developers that make their native ad inventory available through programmatic channels.
Lindsay Nelson, global head of brand strategy, Vox Media
The biggest challenge facing native advertising is the lack of long-term, sustained investment in content partnerships. We have committed meaningful resources developing sophisticated tools and platforms that empower us (Vox Media) to understand how, why, and where content performs. Without a deep, ongoing relationship with an advertiser, we aren’t able to capitalize on those insights, iterate and optimize, and ultimately share the editorial and institutional knowledge we have access to for their benefit.
Justin Choi, CEO, Nativo
There’s market confusion with new and old ad tech companies offering some sort of “native” offering that’s nothing more than a banner made to look like content: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. True native is a shift away from interruption to engagement with content that adds some value to the consumer. Less focus on the part of ad tech companies to associate buzzwords like “programmatic” and “RTB” to native and greater consideration of the user experience will be needed. Otherwise, “blindness” and “blocking” will become the buzzwords that consumers associate with native.
Adam Singolda, CEO, Taboola
I think the main challenge for native is that while it’s a massive opportunity for marketers and publishers, it’s still a small market. We need to keep innovating as an industry and help $60 billion of display advertising flow toward this area and help marketers find a similar or better return-on-invested that they already see in display or search.
Member ExclusiveMedia Buying Briefing: DE&I measurement ‘is a bullshit fix,’ and other takeaways from Digiday’s Media Buying Summit
Feedback from those who do the hard work at media agencies revealed a lot of issues boiling under the surface of their day-to-day jobs, from DE&I shortfalls to massive confusion in the CTV space.
Kill Your Algorithm: Listen to the new podcast featuring tales from a more fearsome FTC
Kill Your Algorithm, a Digiday podcast special exploring the implications of a more aggressive Federal Trade Commission, delves into the agency's settlement with period tracking app Flo and why some think it wasn't tough enough.
Future PLC CRO on how its proprietary ‘secret weapon’ can help shoppers amid upcoming chaotic holiday season
Webby is "confident" the company will bring in more e-commerce revenue for its affiliate partners this year than the nearly $1 billion in sales in 2020.
SponsoredHow advertisers are navigating advanced TV and premium video convergence
Nicole Schumacher, vice president of product marketing, Xandr Advertisers have a number of priorities and considerations as premium video content for viewers evolves. Media types are converging as audience behaviors diverge, adding nuance and complexity to each phase of campaign workflows. It’s the age of innovation for all types of video advertising, including convergence — […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: How sportsbooks are placing bigger bets on sports media outlets
In this week's Media Briefing, media editor Kayleigh Barber looks at how sports betting companies are pushing more money to publishers.
As the FTC takes aim at tech giants, the regulator just lost key tech and data privacy leaders
The FTC has just nine technologists, and three recent departures could stymie its hiring goals.