$20 billion by 2020, that is how much the UK native advertising market will be worth up from $9.2 billion in 2016.
Contrary to beliefs, advertising powers the media industries and enables the creation of content. The continued rise of ad blockers, ad blocking apps and settings in operating systems and the rise of AMP, mean that there will be a decrease in valuable display ads. Meaning we need to evolve how we deliver advertising.
Desktop will not disappear, nor will tablet full die due to the emergence of its hybrid brother the Phablet, these screen widths enable premium ad-yield creatives such as Billboards and Half-pages. But for now, Mobile is king.
It had been hoped that responsive sites and ads could create a seamless advertising process, either through HTML5 responsive ads or by providing multiple ad sizes (snap-down creatives) and letting the ad server do the hard work. Just a slight couple of problems:
Block NumberResponsive ads are very expensive to create
Block NumberSnap-down ads require multiple ads, multiple designs and various formats. Imagine your designer’s face when you tell them that the ad has one rogue apostrophe
But that was then, now, Publishers are moving towards rapid response pages to maximise article consumption. To win at this game you need to strip back everything, CSS, image quality, text formatting and focus on the messaging. It is hard to see where ads fit into the Google roadmap here.
Chrome has recently excelled in diversifying publisher acquisition channels through the 'Chrome Articles for You Feature'.
How long will it be until it is a requirement to be an AMP enabled page to feature? Google does not do anything for free, this is part of their Progressive / Mobile Web strategy.
Therefore, the opportunity growth potential for display will dwindle. It already did when consumers moved to mobile, but now, even how it is distributed on mobile will be governed.
So can native save free speech?
Publishers must look to diversify all their revenue opportunities. Relying on digital ads or by using ad grab tactics like clunky galleries which reload hundreds of ads per page have a limited shelf-life now. Consumers, B2B & B2C professionals want to be informed, they don’t care if it is an advert if it ads real value to their lives. If its digestible, interesting and informative, you better believe it is shareable. And that’s where native wins overall.
Banner ads will still have a place, but that position is under threat due to technology shifts and changing consumer desires. It is why native is set to double inside four years and why publishers need to embrace it in the name of free speech.
The purpose is the eternal condition for success.