The publishing industry has been scrambling frantically for a new online monetization strategy to compensate for the spiraling decline of print and online subscription-based models. In 2012, newspapers lost $16 in print ads for every $1 earned in digital ads and it’s getting worse, according to a new report by Pew. Print ads have fallen from $45 billion to $19 billion since 2003, while online ads have only grown from $1.2 to $3.3 billion. That means the total ten-year increase in digital advertising isn’t even enough to make up for the average single-year decline in print ads since 2003.
One potential saving grace for the publishing industry is the potential of native advertising – relevant content demands higher CPMs that publications need to stay afloat. Online banner ads alone just aren’t able to cut it anymore. Native advertising has come a long way in the last year, and now the introduction of video ads with a native spin are paving new roads for website monetization.
“As an international digital publication, we require technology and advertising platforms that will allow us to scale effectively across our various location specific webpages,” said Kelly Yong, Yield Manager at the International Business Times. “With Ebuzzing’s contextual software and targeting technology able to function across five different languages, we are now able to better monetize our content while maintaining a great user experience for our readers. Additionally, Ebuzzing’s roster of advertising clients is unparalleled including brands like Heineken, Acer, LG, Evian and Adidas.”
Forrester Research projects online video revenue will grow to $5.4 billion by 2016, yet publishers and advertisers still struggle to make video advertising work at scale. Comscore’s vCE Benchmarks 2013 study recently found that 54 percent of ads served are not viewable by users, while 60 percent of Internet users couldn’t recall the last display ad they saw. The research also revealed that 80 percent of viewers felt that the last ad they saw were not relevant to them as individuals.
For The International Business Times, the implementation will appear relatively seamless. According to Ebuzzing COO Bertrand Quesada (pictured), “Each native video ad is placed within the editorial content; for instance, within the body of the article. By placing video advertising units at the heart of editorial content, Ebuzzing’s native ads are more relevant and viewable, meaning users are actively engaged and interested in the brand message. This not only makes it an advertisers dream, but provides a great user experience too.”
Yong added, “Native advertising offers new inventory and revenue stream for International Business Times. With advertisers viewing native as a unique and premium opportunity for sharing their brand messages, we are able to garner higher rates and attract premium brands to advertise with us.”
Additionally, the native ad unit only plays when the user sees the ad unit in full view within editorial, stopping if less than 50% of the surface of the format is displayed. The sound in the ad will only play when activated by a mouse over; once the ad has played it will disappear.
Using its semantic contextual technology, Ebuzzing helps publishers target the right audience with the right ad in the right context in real-time. This technology automatically detects the topics and keywords mentioned in an article or web page, then serves up a video ad, which is relevant to the editorial. For example, the native unit could be showing an Adidas ad within an article about running or a Zara ad within an article about women’s fashion.
When asked why these video ads are a better option than traditional display, Yong from International Business Times responded, “There are multiple limitations to traditional banner ads. First, the only recognized metric for success is click-through, which are currently at an all time low of less than 0.01%. Additionally, comScore recently conducted a study that found that banner blindness has become a pandemic among consumers — especially the younger generations. The native ad unit offers an experience that aligns with readers’ interests and allows them to either engage or skip the ad without any hassle or extra effort.”
“To this day, video still offers the most engaging format of advertising—just look at the success of TV. The next phase of this will be making video work on new screens including mobile, tablet and even out of home,” added Quesada.