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Native ads boost NYT

News, 04 February 2015
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NEW YORK: Print advertising revenue continues to decline at the New York Times, but digital advertising revenue grew almost 12% in 2014, latest figures show.

Announcing fourth quarter and full-year results, Mark Thompson, president and CEO, described 2014 as "an encouraging year" that had seen modest overall revenue growth and the best year-on-year advertising trend in almost ten years.

"We were particularly pleased with the strong growth in digital advertising, boosted by the introduction of Paid Posts, our native advertising solution," he said in a statement.

In the fourth quarter, print advertising revenue was down 9.2%, while digital advertising revenue increased 19.3% to a total of $63.2m. The latter's share of total company advertising now stands at 30.5%, up from 25% a year earlier.

Over the full year, print advertising revenue fell 4.7% as digital grew 11.9% to $182.2m.

Thompson also noted a near 20% rise in digital subscriber numbers and said the business on track to exceed the one million digital subscriber milestone in 2015.

His comments on native advertising come just days after a report by the Association of National Advertisers – Advertising is Going Native – found almost two thirds of client-side marketers intend to increase their spending on the native ad format in the coming year, albeit most are doing so from a low base.

The ANA highlighted disclosure and ethics as the key concerns for marketers and said the former was "the single biggest issue about native advertising that keeps respondents up at night".

These issues came to the fore last month when magazine publisher Condé Nast announced a new native ad venture, 23 Stories, which will see editors working with advertisers on branded content.

Edward Menicheschi, CMO-president of the Condé Nast Media Group, claimed the full support of editorial staff for this breaching of the line between church and state and declared that a lot of the content being created elsewhere for brands was "crap".

"We're going to do it better," he said. "If we touch it, it will be good or we're not going to do it."

Other leading publishers, including Hearst and Time, have also recently developed native ad units.

Dara sourced from New York Times, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff

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