The 2017 Publisher’s Buyers Guide to Native Advertising Technology

Jun 9, 2017

Chad Pollitt
By Chad Pollitt 

VP of Audience and Partner, Native Advertising Institute
Indianapolis, USA

Publishers, marketers, advertisers and media buyers are faced with a native advertising technology landscape filled with over 300 vendors of all types. From solutions that allow mobile app builders to embed native ad units to CRM solutions that enable and track sales for publishers. That represents a pretty crowded field for one publisher, let alone a single person, to wrap their heads around.

It’s for this reason, we’ve put together a native advertising buyer’s guide specifically for publishers to use. We’ve purposely left out the nearly 200 demand and supply side platforms to focus more on the lesser known technologies. Demand and supply side vendors are featured in our “Global Guide to Native Advertising Technology” and is available to download for free.

The technology vendors featured below all work with publishers in some form or fashion and in most verticals. Most them exclusively work with publishers, while many work with some of the biggest names in the industry. If you’re in the publishing business, consider this your one-stop resource to all things native ad tech related. Each subsequent year the Native Advertising Institute will update this document so you’ll always be in the ‘know.’

Managed Services Technology

This category is all about content distribution and delivering the right content to the best person at the right time to get business results. Out of all of the vendors in this category, Keywee is the only one with a long and storied track record of success working with publishers.

It’s also an excellent solution for publishers using a pay-wall in front of content or simply looking for new organic subscribers.

1. Keywee – Enables the creation, distribution and measurement of content that drives business results for publishers. Uses natural-language processing to scan content and understand what it is about. Employs its vast database of historical performance to target audiences that have been shown to act on similar content. Automatically generates numerous variations of paid native posts, with optimized bids for each selected audience. Provides insight into how paid native units are performing with the targeted audiences across platforms.

Sponsored Content Marketplaces

Not all publishers will be interested in this category. However, for those wishing to drive sponsored content revenue without relying on a sales staff, this is a viable option. Each vendor identified below has their own marketplace filled with both publishers and marketers.

They’re kind of like dating websites by doing online match making. Each marketplace functions a little differently from one another and the pricing structures are each unique.

1. NewsLauncher – Working with the most forward thinking publications in the world to create clearly marked, reader first content. The Branded News Stories Marketplace enables brands to compare publications and select the ones with the audience demographic and topic interests that matches the target audience of any particular story topic they sponsor. Publishers gain direct access to stories from brands. Every piece of content is relevant-quality- informative- entertaining, and that content is put in a place that matches the story topic itself.

2. Pressboard – Sponsored content marketplace with a global reach. Partners with lifestyle, fashion, business, food publishers and more. The marketplace matches brands and publishers and features analytics and a unique cost per read pricing model.

3. – The world’s first sponsored content marketplace with fixed prices for publications. It’s all-in- one service for creating and sharing news and stories globally. More than 3.8K publications around the world in 94 countries and 49 languages.

Analytics, Distribution, Workflow, Audience Engagement Optimization

These vendors aren’t necessarily competitors and each provide value in their own way. Generally speaking, these are all content management platforms publishers can use. Both Nudge and Polar are used specifically for sponsored (long-form) content. The other solutions can be used for organic content as well. All of the solutions represented below offer some type of content promotion.

1. Nudge – A real-time platform for publishers to manage and report on native content. Provides benchmarking support to understand what constitutes great performance by content, category and platform. Gives an accurate picture of content performance free from bot traffic. Tracks content, social and advertising KPIs. Provides distribution and attribution capability.

2. – Makes it easy to understand, own, and improve digital audience engagement through content-based data. With real-time campaign and content data side-by- side, it’s easy to spot the ads, social media posts, and partnerships that encourage people to spend time with content. Sponsored content promotion and distribution

3. Fabl – Data-driven cloud publishing platform that increases engagement, social amplification, and call-to- action conversions. Makes sure stories are reaching the right people. Collaborate with artists, agencies, and producers, and manage your brand assets. Highlight important products or events.

4. Polar – Drives more views to branded (sponsored) content by promoting it across all onsite and offsite channels. Makes operations more efficient with performance optimization and workflow management. Real-time insights into campaign and ad product performance.

Live Streaming

This is a very unique category that’s becoming ever increasingly popular across both mobile and non-mobile environments. This is an embeddable technology that publishers can natively place on their sites. A publisher has two options – either use the technology to do their own live streaming and have it distributed on other publishers’ sites, too, or to allow other streamers access to the site’s audience (for a price).

1. StreamSpread – Connects publishers with live streamers for monetization or allows publishers to stream live on their website and across the other websites in the global network.

Anti-Ad blocking

Year over year ad blocking is growing at 34%. It’s estimated to cost publishers over $41 billion this year alone and Millennials are mostly to blame. The solutions represented below are a way for publishers to regain some of their lost revenue share.

1. AdRecover – Monetizes ad blocked impressions. Includes tracking, optimization and analytics.

2. Instart Logic – AppShield Ad Integrity balances user experience with publisher needs. It is the only solution that allows publishers to keep existing ad delivery systems intact and unlock revenue without complex integrations or negative reactions from end users.

3. PageFair – PageFair Ads serve advertising in a manner that adblockers are unable to circumvent, and solves the speed, privacy, and UX issues that cause adblocking in the first place. PageFair Analytics is used by thousands of publishers for free, and measures over 12 billion pageviews per month.

CRM/Sales Enablement

This technology is especially designed to serve the needs of publishers. It empowers sales teams with the tools they need to work and track their pipeline. It gives executive management the ability to run detailed reports, track revenue, up sells and renewals.

Based on industry-wide data from this tool, MediaRadar has been able to determine that sponsored content renewals dramatically increase to 60-80% if deals are six months or more in duration.

1. MediaRadar – Provides the multimedia ad sales insights needed to determine who to talk to, when to reach out and what needs to be said to lift sales to the next level. Integrated tools designed for publishing companies. Get accurate reports, streamline the sales process and put the sales team ahead of the competition.

Content Discovery Optimization

Many publishers use content discovery widgets on their online properties. The technology solutions below allow publishers to optimize their effectiveness and increase engagement, all while maximizing revenue.

1. ThoughtLeadr – makes it simple to place designated sponsored content within a publishers existing content stream. It’s clean, seamless, and inspires up to 10-20X more user engagement leading to significantly more revenue. Uses up to 15 demand partners. Advanced real-time analytics for campaign optimization. Tracks all the way to revenue.

2. Tiller – Smart publishers monetize their site with multiple recommended content ad providers, but there hasn't been a smart way to optimize them all. Tiller's advanced machine-learning selects the best ad tag in real-time, or a user can go into manual mode to choose when and where to show specific ad tags.

In total, 2017 has 15 native advertising technology vendors that publishers should know about. Who knows what next year will bring, but as projections for further growth in native advertising continue to rise, it’s likely this list will grow, too. For more information about the above vendors feel free to visit our online directory.


Get your copy of ‘The Global Guide to Native Advertising Technology’ 


Story by Chad Pollitt

Native Advertising Expert, CMO Influencer VP of Audience and Partner, Native Advertising Institute Indianapolis, USA

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