A new study was released today by ad sales intelligence firm, MediaRadar, examining the trends of native advertising in 2016.
The study analyzed thousands of native ads from nearly 13,000 brands over the course of last year and determined the business categories that were most eagerly using native advertising throughout the year.
The study indicates that media and entertainment was the most popular native ad category in 2016, with 3,198 brands using native campaigns. That was followed by professional services campaigns (2,017 brands); finance and real estate (1,246 brands); technology (1,231 brands); and retail (1,153 brands).
These findings caught our eye this morning because in Tapstone’s experience, the category of media and entertainment hasn’t been at the forefront of native advertising deployment (and certainly not at the volume that these numbers might suggest), and here’s why.
Within the media and entertainment category, a technique known as ‘content arbitrage’ is often used, which might have skewed the numbers. You’ll have come across an example of content arbitrage even if you’re not familiar with the term.
Have you, for example, ever clicked on a link to an article that promises to show you “What 20 famous stars of the 80s, look like today” or the “20 most expensive celebrity homes”, and then been presented with an article that requires you to click page by page through the 20 images?
You have? Us too.
Once you have clicked through, you’ll have no doubt noticed (and probably been annoyed by the fact) that each page you click through comes with a handful more advertisements. While in reality there was only one initial native advert that got you to visit the article and see your favorite child star all grown up, that article is somewhat of a ‘Trojan horse’ for dozens more adverts. That’s content arbitrage – one initial advertisement tempting you to view content, and delivering you to dozens of other advertisements within that content.
Research studies may then record the total number of adverts shown, rather than just the initial advert itself, causing the impression that many more brands are creating their own native campaigns, than really are.
As you know, at Tapstone we provide a complete native advertising solution to brands in a host of business categories and get a good view of broader market trends as a result. Last year, rather than media and entertainment as a leading business category, we found that we partnered most frequently with advertisers in the travel, automotive and health & wellness industries. That’s a trend that’s continued in these first few months of 2017 too as these businesses see the real benefits of expertly managed native advertising.
We don’t use content arbitrage techniques because we believe they degrade the user experience and the advertiser results, so that might explain the difference between what we see as the biggest business categories and what some research may show.
If you’d like to know how we can help your brand generate real results with native advertising and without frustrating your prospective customers, you can book a free consult by contacting the Tapstone team now.