New report: Publishers increasingly counting on native advertising

In 2017, native advertising brought in 20 percent of overall advertising revenue for news media organisations, according to the findings from the just-published “Native Advertising Trends in News Media,” the annual study conducted by WAN-IFRA and the Native Advertising Institute.

by Dean Roper | December 11, 2018

This year’s survey, which included 148 news media executives participating from 53 countries, also revealed that by 2021, publishers expect that 36 percent of their overall ad revenue will come from some form of native advertising.

“Publishers continue to hone their strategies around native advertising as it increasingly plays a significant role in their overall ad strategies,” says Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA. “With native advertising, advertisement becomes less disruptive and more relevant to the consumer experience. The appetite for native advertising grows as experiential becomes increasingly important to every business model, especially on mobile.”

“Native advertising is still a fairly new discipline for many publishers, yet it is growing in financial importance,” says Jesper Laursen, Founder of the Native Advertising Institute. “It might not be the Holy Grail that will solve every problem in the industry, but this year’s study shows that it is becoming an integrated part of their business model and it’s going to be interesting to see how it evolves.”

In addition to the results of the survey, the report also includes three case studies featuring publishers such as The New York TimesJP/Politikens in Denmark, and The Atlantic.

Key findings

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • 52% of publishers surveyed said native advertising is very important to their overall ad strategy, and 43% said it is important. 87% of respondents have a positive feeling towards native advertising.
  • Publishers are no doubt building and organising their operations to seize the opportunities that native advertising represents: 42% of respondents to the survey say they now have their own dedicated native ad studio, up from 35% last year. Another 29% have a dedicated native ad team.
  • However, many publishers are using their editorial team much less than just one year ago as this practice has dropped from 47% to 29%.
  • One disconcerting finding from the study shows that 9% of the publishers do not put any labelling on native advertising. It is better than last year’s 11%, but it is still a far cry from where it should be: 0%.

Access the report

WAN-IFRA Members can download the report (for free) at: WAN-IFRA will feature a webinar about the report in early 2019. For upcoming webinars, visit:

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