Native advertising is a trending topic in the digital media world. Now that publishers and advertisers are starting to notice the potential, they are jumping on board.
7.9 Billion USD In Native Ad Spend in 2014
When audiences are exposed to the inevitability of advertisements yet receive them through a similar format to the content they are already viewing, their experience isn’t disrupted. Happy consumers create happy publishers and advertisers. BI Intelligence has brought forward new data that shows spending on native ads will be $7.9 billion this year and increase to $10.7 billion in 2015 and nearly double by 2018 to $21 billion.
The new art of the native ad is dominating previous attempts at working advertising in with content. Consumers are becoming more aware of the ways advertising shows up on their screens. They will now avoid looking at anything that looks like an advertisement, whether it’s an ad or not.
Traditional banner ads haven’t been nearly as effective as the native ad, especially when it comes to mobile devices. Consumers have developed banner-blindness, which is the tendency of web visitors to ignore banner ads. This holds true even when banners contain information visitors are actively seeking. Jan Panero Benway and David M. Lane brought attention to this occurrence back in 1998 with their study “Banner Blindness: Web Searchers Often Miss Obvious Links.”
Jakob Nielsen, Principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, has continued the research on banner-blindness and proves that this once effective form of advertising is now unsuccessful. A part of the Nielson research was using heat maps in an eye-tracking study.
Look at the above images. The red area is where users looked the most. The yellow is fewer views, and blue shows the least viewed areas. Gray areas show it attracted no fixations. After the experiment, green boxes were drawn on top of the placed advertisements. As you can see, the banner ads didn’t get the attention the advertisers were likely hoping for. Even if banner ads are relevant to the user, they are standardized and appear the same on every site. When an ad looks like a native site component, users will actually look at it.
A few key and astonishing points found in the BI Intelligence research include:
- Social-native, including Facebook News Feed ads and promoted tweets on Twitter, will draw a majority of native ad revenue between 2013 and 2018.
- Social native ads will account for the biggest share of native ad revenue during this time period, but native-style display ads will grow the fastest.
- Native display ads, like the splashy native ads on Yahoo’s news pages and apps, will see the fastest ramp-up.
With a new year approaching, it looks as though native ads are destined to create a symbiosis in the internet world; between content and advertising, publisher and consumer.