Publishers are eyeing new revenue streams and advertisers see the ads as a way to couch their messages in the ethos of editorial. The Online Publisher’s Association shows 90 percentof US publishers either already offer or plan to offer native advertising opportunities this year, while BIA/Kelsey predicts brands will spend $4.57 billion on social native ads by 2017.
Certainly part of the confusion comes from the vast number of ad types that can be crowded under the native advertising umbrella. Advertorials and sponsored content are the genesis for just some of what is called native advertising — those paid articles on sites like Buzzfeed, The Atlantic, Forbes. In-stream ads and promoted posts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo are also often considered forms of native advertising — in that they are presented in formats akin to the organic posts on those sites — as are product placements and content recommendation widgets.