Although native advertising is gaining in popularity, there are still many uncertainties. We at Seeding Alliance, the largest native advertising developer and marketer in Germany, have once again this year carried out an annual survey on the subject of native advertising on the German market in order to capture the mood of the industry.
From the 1st to the 28th of February 2017, Seeding Alliance interviewed 365 industry experts. Among the participants were advertisers, publishers, agency members and marketers.
When it comes to advertising on mobile devices, around 83% of the participants agree that native advertising will be the dominant form of advertising in the future. More than half of the respondents are convinced that native advertising has the potential to generate higher profit than display advertising.
The statement that native advertising will account for more than half of the digital advertising market in three years is believed by almost 60% of respondents, while 35% remain sceptical of that statement.
The majority of participants are convinced that labelling is sufficient to distinguish native advertising from editorial content a majority also agree that native advertising content is perceived as credible by readers and viewers.
Labelling as well as many other aspects can however be interpreted in many ways and 80% of respondents believe that clear guidelines and market standards for native advertising would encourage the development of native.
Around 75% of the respondents agree that content in a native advertising campaign can have just as high a quality as editorial content, but more than half of respondents believe that it is hard for most of the users to differentiate between native advertising formats and editorial content.
The majority of the respondents (75%) agree that PR agencies have so far missed out on the opportunity to acquire the competences needed for creating content for native ads.
The fact that native advertising is often associated with long-form content seem to make it harder for respondents to identify various advertising formats as native. For example the respondents do not agree as to whether a 'native teaser' on social media or sponsored posts on Facebook can be considered native ads. However, everybody agrees that Google Adwords can not be considered native advertising.
The industry experts disagree about whether the increased use of native ads will have an effect on the use of Ad blockers.
The need for standards and a wake-up call for PR agencies
To sum up, the respondents within advertising, publishing, agencies and marketers agree that native advertising will dominate the mobile advertising market in the future.
Though it's not possible to conclude from the study when or if native advertising will dominate the entire advertising market, 93% of last year’s respondents in our similar survey were convinced that the share of native advertising will grow by 15% in 2020. This positive attitude towards native advertising from our 2016 survey stayed intact this year.
75% of the respondents believe that PR agencies have wasted an opportunity.
In 2016, 60% of the respondents believed there was a need for industry-wide market standards for native advertising in order to drive the development of native forward. In this year’s enquiry this need grew to about 80%. The disagreement over which formats are included or excluded in native advertising additionally points out the need for standardization.
An interesting aspect of this year’s survey is that 75% of the respondents believe that PR agencies have wasted an opportunity to enter the market for creating native advertising content. Maybe our survey can serve as a wake-up-call for them.