NEW YORK: Native advertising is set for a growth spurt following Google's announcement that it is now able to offer "native programmatic" buys through its DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

"Native has been a huge focus of ours for a while now, and there are several pieces that have to come together to make this work at scale programmatically," Jonathan Bellack, director of product management at DoubleClick for Publishers and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, told Ad Exchanger.

Not least of these has been the need to isolate individual parts of the supplied ad creative in order to be able to subsequently assemble and serve them according to different publisher's user experiences.

"As an advertiser you need to think about assets that will work in a range of presentations," Bellack said. "We had to build that tech that could have those two things [the publisher spec and the creative assets] be separated."

Initially, this function will only be available for mobile app ads, but mobile and desktop native web ads are expected to be an option early next year.

Chris Pirrone, general manager at USA Today Sports Media Group, was impressed by what Google had achieved. "It lends credence to how important native is," he added.

Some businesses have already trialled Google's native programmatic buying and reported a significant uplift in various metrics. eBay, for example, said it had achieved an average 3.6 times increase in ad engagement, while some campaigns had delivered CTRs as high as 5%.

"The performance is great," said Michael Collins, CEO of Adelphic, a mobile demand-side platform, although he cautioned that much of the adoption of native was coming from performance advertisers rather than brands.

That situation is likely to change, however. "Given Google's scale, it can help accelerate adoption of native inventory by brands," he said.

Bellack also announced the introduction of programmatic support for mobile video interstitials in apps. /html>

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger, Google; additional content by Warc staff