Digital market researchers eMarketer report project a significant shift to native ads in 2019 and beyond:
- 63% share of display ad spend in 2019, up 25% from 2018
- 96% of native ad spend will be for display ads on Facebook and other social media platforms.
- By 2020 89% of US native ads are expected to be delivered via mobile devices.
- Non-social native ad spend - typically via mobile phones - will also gain share, up to 34% in 2020 from 26% in 2018.
This gain in share is occurring as users shift media consumption to social media and smartphones.
Marketers increasingly favor running native ads because they work. Despite the fact that research has found that consumers recognize them as just another form of ad, on average, native ads get engagement equal to that of non-ad copy and 53% more impressions than regular display ads, and increase purchase intent by 18%.
But native ads pose a dilemma for publishers: how to maintain journalistic integrity and editorial neutrality when you permit ads to be intermingled with and disguised as unbiased content?
The Google News Initiative - which is intended to help publishers sell paid news subscriptions, thus somewhat offsetting the need to sell advertising - could have some impact on the growth of native advertising. But so far it looks like ad revenue still outweighs subscription fees, and it may be too late to turn that around.
Stay tuned for updates as this plays out.