Native Advertising An Emerging Consensus for a New Kind of Ad

Native Advertising is going mainstream and The Dallas Morning News is testing it now.

Social networks, news sites, digital content aggregators and streaming media services are rife with ads that are integrated into the content experience. These so-called “native ads” are providing new ways for marketers to reach target audiences and new avenues of monetization for content sites that are under intense revenue pressure.

Native ad spending is growing faster than many other forms of digital advertising, particularly on social media sites, where placements are outpacing previous expectations, according to recent forecasts. Much of this activity is stemming from mobile, as marketers look to match users’ continuing shift in media consumption–including accessing Facebook and Twitter–to smartphones and tablets.

Although business prospects for native advertising are positive, the medium has its detractors. Some media executives and marketers are wary of the blurring of lines between content and advertising that occurs with native ads, particularly in the context of news sites. Others question the return on investment of these ads, arguing that native ads cannot scale for multiple placements.