At Nudge we create research reports into Native content within all categories to find out which content styles and publishers perform the best. It’s a chance to see what others are doing within your category and take learnings for your next campaign.

For reviewing all content we’ve used the Nudge diagnostic. This is a tool that can be found at to find shares, estimated earned impressions and estimated media value. If you’d like to suggest a category for review please drop me a line at [email protected]

This review covers the below for Entertainment:

– Content format

– Publisher performance

– Social Insights

– Best practice

– Learnings

– Key takeaways

– Further reading

Entertainment Research Report

For this report we’ve split out the research into content styles and major publishers to look at not just the format of content but some of the leading publishers within this category to find trends and learnings.

The below graph shows where content styles sit looking at engagement and estimated attention minutes (based on Nudge’s dataset from the full product).

Content formats 

Definitions and Examples

Article: The most common form of native content. Normally follows the article layout of the sites editorial content.

Video: A video featured on a publishers site. Normally includes a paragraph of text from the publisher.

List: A content format which follows a numbered list. Can include images and text.

Slideshow: A slideshow of images including opening copy and copy with most slides.

Video & Article: A video featured on a publishers site including an article write up.

The entertainment category is the second category to see such high engagement with slideshows. However, the majority of the shares were via StumbleUpon, as these may have been paid we can’t determine accurately if this was organic sharing or paid.

List continue to perform well, though a large portion of these are from BuzzFeed, they’re not the only publisher running this format. It continues to be successful as driving high reach and high engagement across multiple publishers.

The Article continues to perform well and sits within the high engagement and high attention sector.

Videos and Video’s with articles performed OK but considering the category we would have expected to see more of these and for them to receive higher engagement.

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There are some clear top performers here. Time Inc wins with both high engagement and high attention. BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, Mashable, Gawker, The Onion and Funny or Die are the other top publishers within this category.


Below are the top publishers for each content format


Social Insights 

This is the first category where we’ve seen StumbleUpon be the dominant platform for sharing. This shows us that to get high engagement within this category the majority of players are having to promote the content  significantly to hit their  engagement targets.

We’ll review each of the content formats to see if there’s any insights from sharing stats:


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– Video’s, Video’s and Articles and Lists are the best content formats for high shares in Facebook.

– Almost all shares for slideshow happened on StumbleUpon

– Video’s and Articles are the best format for high Twitter shares.

– Articles were the only format that brought in any LinkedIn shares.

Best Practice

Publisher: BuzzFeed

Brand: The Jim Carrigan Show

Content Format: List

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For the entertainment category Lists (when you don’t take into consideration StumbleUpon shares) had the highest engagement of all content formats. This list on BuzzFeed is one of the best examples of this. This piece of content had over 39K shares on Facebook, showing how well it resonated with the audience.

This publisher and content format is perfect for a TV show or movie with quotable moments. It connects the content to show with images that include quotes from Jim Gaffigan. As the show is a comedy it lends itself well to the BuzzFeed style and audience, allowing people to share individual moments from the list.

Overall Lists perform well due to the breakdown of content, a viewer knows what they’re getting into, it’s 10 moments, they can take 2 minutes from their day to click through and read. As discussed in previous reports, the true success of this piece of native content is due to the right brand, connecting to a publisher that has a similar audience and delivering the content in a style that not appeals to that audience but is in a format they understand from that publisher.

Publisher: The Onion

Brand: Starz: Blunt Talk

Content Format: Article

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This was the best performing article within all category reviewed for entertainment. This piece of content is for the Starz TV show Blunt Talk. This performed well due to mainly one reason: a strong headline that engaged immediately and had some shock value. However, The Onion (who create premium sponsored content), also kept the article short which meant they didn’t lose the value in the headline, it was short, punchy, funny and did the trick.

With sponsored content, you don’t need to overcomplicate it. The right publisher (a satirical website), a comedy looking into the darker side of a New York newsreader, and a funny, attention grabbing headline; is achieving the brands goals. People are talking about it.

Publisher: Funny or Die

Brand: Bravo – Odd Mom Out

Content Format: Video

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Odd Mom Out is a new TV show by Bravo that explores a Mom who isn’t quite like the others in NYC. Funny or Die created great branded content for the show that plays on the theme of an Odd Mom Out. This video shows what happens when a mom doesn’t read the book in book club, she’s shot and buried in the desert. Obviously. Funny or Die stand out amongst video’s created for the entertainment category, this is mainly due to not just including clips from the tv show but creating content with the tv show in mind that will be engaging, get plays and raise interest in the Bravo show. Overall this was the most engaging video or video & article. Just to note we haven’t included straight trailers in this report.


  • TV shows run more native content then movies.
  • Movies continue to reply on trailers using video distribution partners.
  • As a category that still relies on trailers as the main format for driving interest, there hasn’t been as much innovation in the paid content space as we’ve seen in other categories.
  • Lists are by far the most engaging content format. Slideshows though topping the format graph owe over 90% of their shares to StumbleUpon.
  • Though we haven’t reviewed trailers for entertainment over the last 6 months in this report, a cursory review shows that this is still where the majority of engagement and reach happens.
  • Videos and video’s with articles perform the best in attention metrics.
  • Video’s overall continue to perform low on engagement. Sometimes they can run a little too long but a lot of the time it’s just that the format doesn’t have a lot of content within the publishers site. If videos are their main format such as Funny or Die, then it can work really well. However, if you’re just attaching to a site that mainly uses articles the likelihood is it won’t drive high engagement.


  • Lists are the most successful content format for engagement
  • Slideshows can achieve high engagement but budget must be set aside to bring in the Stumble Upon shares.
  • BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, Mashable, Gawker, The Onion and Funny or Die are the other top publishers within this category.
  • StumbleUpon makes up for 53% of shares within this category showing that promotion is needed for engagement.
  • Look to create original video content (not just relying on trailers) to get better engagement with your campaign.

More Native Reading

Why you need quality metrics – the ROI of native content

Native content – sponsored content hubs

Engagement and attention – you need both

A closer look at attention metrics 

If you’d like assistance in planning your buy, schedule a call with Hollie to see how Nudge can help:

[email protected]

+1 (778) 680-3127

Entertainment Research Report – Nudge, a smart dashboard for your content