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Newsbrands embrace native ads

News, 31 October 2016

DALLAS: Native advertising's share of overall advertising revenue at many of the world's leading newspapers are expected to grow to 25% by 2018, according to a new global survey.

The International News Media Association (INMA) and the Native Advertising Institute (NAI), a global educational organisation, said its survey of 156 mostly newspaper companies in 48 countries is the first to explore the opportunities and obstacles presented by native advertising for newspaper media.

According to the findings, nearly half (48%) of newspaper media are already carrying some form of native advertising and another 39% are likely to turn to the channel as an advertising option.

A full 89% of respondents say native advertising is important to their organisations with a significant proportion, though not an overall majority, viewing it as the most important new advertising stream above programmatic.

Just over half (54%) of the media companies surveyed sell native advertising in combination with traditional advertising, but the format is favoured because around two-thirds (65%) charge more for it.

The report, entitled "Native Advertising Trends 2016: The News Media Industry", also explored how, or whether, news media companies are making their native advertising clear to readers.

Some 60% of respondents say "sponsored content" is their label of choice, while 24% opt for "advertisement" or "paid content", although the report also revealed that a worrying 7% do not label native advertising at all.

In terms of content production, 42% of respondents say they use editorial teams for native advertising, 33% use their own native advertising studio, 28% use a separate team, while 26% employ an external agency partner.

The findings suggest that news organisations are receptive to the opportunities presented by native advertising, yet there are still hurdles to overcome.

For example, 38% report that the absence of separation between the editorial and commercial sides of their business is a threat to the proper execution of native advertising.

And more than half (55%) say poor client understanding of the medium is the biggest threat to its success. News organisations also say explaining native advertising to marketers and convincing them to tell real stories are their top two challenges.

Data sourced from INMA, NAI; additional content by Warc staff