What, Actually, Is Native Advertising?

According to a new study from eMarketer, most people’s definitions of native advertising vary. Nonetheless, native advertising has increasing interest among publishers and ad buyers – as well as many new opportunities to generate ad revenue. Most publishers have already rolled out some native ad opportunities; 75% of US publishers said they already offered native advertising, and 17% said they were planning to offer it this year. But even though there is consensus on offering native ads, nearly 90% said that native advertising was “content produced in conjunction with the advertiser, or by the advertiser, that runs within the editorial stream.” Simultaneously, 79% believed native advertising must be clearly delineated and labeled as such. But while there is confusion on what, exactly, are the defining tenants of native advertising, publishers did agree that engagement was the leading metric used to judge the success of ads, followed by traffic and social sharing.