Advertisers Spend More on Native, but Favor the Same Formats

The typical native display ad is mobile, social and purchased programmatically—and that’s not expected to change over the next couple years, as the native ad market continues organic growth.

We forecast that by 2020, 88.8% of native ads in the US will become more mobile, up from 85.2% in 2018. Likewise, 87.7% of native will be purchased programmatically in 2020, up from 86.7% in 2018. The share of native that comes from social will slightly decline from 76.7% in 2018 to 73.5% in 2020.

In other words, the US native display ad market is mature. We predict that the most prominent device type (mobile), buying method (programmatic) and ad medium (social) in which native ads are consumed will not drastically change in the foreseeable future.

“The US native ad market is still growing, but the ‘typical native ad’ isn’t changing much: It’s bought programmatically from a social network and served to a mobile device,” said eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin. “In many ways, this reflects broader display trends, but native ads are even more likely than display ads to have these characteristics.”

Ad tracking company MediaRadar found that the number of new advertisers using native stagnated in H2 2018, another sign of market maturity.

That doesn’t mean native ad spending has peaked. MediaRadar estimates that native campaigns had an average renewal rate of 40% in 2018, up from 33% in 2017.

eMarketer defines native digital display advertising as digital display ads that follow the form, feel and function of the content of the media on which they appear, be it a webpage or an app. That encompasses a number of widely varying formats, including ads in social media feeds, content recommendation widgets, custom ads and sponsored content.

We forecast that US advertisers will spend $43.90 billion on native display ads this year, a 24.6% year-over-year growth. In 2020, we expect US native display ad spend to grow 20.2% to $52.75 billion.

eMarketer PRO subscribers can read the full report: "US Native Advertising 2019: New Strategies Lead to New Forms of Native, New Budgets."

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