Native advertising trends in news media

A report by WAN-IFRA and the Native Advertising Institute


By 2021 native advertising is slated to make up 36% of news publishers’ overall advertising revenue, according to a survey WAN-IFRA and the Native Advertising Institute conducted late last year. Based on the survey as well as case studies of best practice, WAN-IFRA and NAI published a report ‘Native Advertising Trends in News Media,’ in December.

Jesper Laursen, chief executive officer of the Native Advertising Institute, will share some of the key findings and insights from the survey and report during a webinar on Tuesday, 30 April.

Some of the 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 organizing 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 put no labelling on native advertising. It is better than last year’s figure of 11%, but it is still a far cry from where it should be: 0%.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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