Native Ads Part Deux: The Growth of Open Native Advertising

By Mark Chu Cheong and Dan Greenberg , written on September 7, 2012

From The News Desk

While the display advertising industry has somehow managed to fend off the choir of “banner ads are dead” for the past half-decade, it seems as though the growing unrest with interruptions has finally put the chink in its pre-roll and banner armor.

A new model emerging as a counter to the display industry is known as native advertising. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this term, it can be defined as ad strategies that allow brands to promote their content into the endemic experience of a site in a non-interruptive, integrated way. For examples of this, just take a look at many of the major platforms on the Web — Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress — who have all adopted some form of native advertising.

What is the reason for this fundamental shift? Well, as people are spending more time on content discovery sites and news aggregators, they are becoming less and less tolerant of interruption. And, oh yeah, they hate lame content. With native units, platforms and publishers are able to bring their users better ad content (especially in the form of high-quality branded video content) as well as choice-based viewing.

With rapid growth and the potential for a $10B+ native advertising industry, we thought it would be helpful to create a framework for the current landscape:

Closed vs. Open Native advertising:

  • Closed – Native advertising on “closed” platforms is defined by brands creating profiles and/or content within a platform, then promoting that content within the confines of that same closed platform. Examples include Promoted Tweets on Twitter and Sponsored Stories on Facebook.
  • Open – Native advertising on “open” platforms is defined by the ability for a brand to promote the same piece of branded content across multiple platforms within native ad formats. Unlike closed platforms, the branded content asset lives outside the platform.
The Growth of Open Native Video

With over 70 percent of online adults watching videos on video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo, it is no surprise that we are seeing publishers of all shapes and sizes integrating video and brands creating increasingly more original video content. Video is an ideal medium for native advertising, as it can be well integrated into a broad range of sites and platforms and it’s inherently shareable.

The ability to create a single video and distribute it natively across all platforms is a huge draw to advertisers and the reason for the rapid growth of the open native video ad market. This ability to scale video on open native platforms opens up all types of possibilities for brands who are looking for new ways to interact with their audiences.

Sometimes a GIF just explains things better

For those of you that are confused about this open vs closed native ad stuff and what it has to do with online video, we wanted to bring you a GIF sequence that we like to call “Nod Like Jack”.  Enjoy.

When I want to watch a 10 sec NBA highlight and I get a 30 second pre-roll instead…

What the fastest growing platforms on web think about Banner ads…

When I find out there are alternatives to banners and pre-rolls…

When I find out that native solution exists for video

When I realize closed native platforms each want me to build an individual ad unit…

When I find out about open native video advertising…

“Nod Like Jack.”

[Image courtesy The Eggplant]