Survey Says Publishers Still Learning to Embrace Native Ads

Nov 11, 2014

A Cxense "Extraordinary Insight" survey of more than 260 publishing executives reveals escalating interest in native ads and their perceived value, but also shows the market remains largely untapped, with just 20% of respondents running native ads today.

The Cxense survey, sent out in conjunction with Editor & Publisher magazine, revealed that just 20% of publishers run native ads on their sites today, but around 25% plan to introduce them over the next 12 months. Those growing numbers also mean more native ads within sites already running them.

One key to native ad success, the Cxense survey respondents agreed, is targeting. Two in three survey participants say ensuring the user is interested in the content being promoted is important, and 26% note targeting is actually more important for native ads than other types of ads.

The survey also illuminates confusion in the market around native advertising--40% of respondents admitted that they are still not totally sure they understand the concept of native ads. In addition, 24% believe traditional ad servers can be used effectively for native ads, while nearly two in three respondents confessed that they didn't know.

Cxense is helping to eliminate the confusion by launching a "Native Ads for Dummies" page and a white paper on native advertising. Because native ads are paid placements that mimic the form and function of the site on which they appear, they look more like content than advertisements. Publishers remain somewhat divided on their thoughts around native ads. The survey shows that 45% of publishers now believe native ads offer "great value to publishers, advertisers and consumers," while 30% say native ads "cheapen journalism by blurring the lines between advertising and editorial."