The overwhelming majority of digital publishers (90 percent) have adopted or are considering adding native advertising to their sites. It’s seen as an effective tool by brands and advertisers, garnering 4.1 times more views on average per session and improving purchase intent by 18 percent compared to banner ads. And with spend forecasted to grow 33 percent to $5.7 billion in 2016, it may seem like a very viable option for publishers.
Native is still in its infancy, though. While two-thirds of advertisers are increasing their native budgets, it still only accounts for less than 5 percent of the average total ad spend. And many publishers pursuing this business model have come up against its flaws. Scale and cost of execution is one. Consumer trust is another – when editorial-looking content is controlled by a brand there can be backlash, as seen with The Atlantic’s sponsored content from the Church of Scientology lauding its leader David Miscavige.