Ben Young
Ben Young
October 11, 2019

We’ve been thinking about renaming the newsletter from This Week in Native Ads, native is now the norm and de-facto. Any thoughts or ideas? Format will stay the same, covering the pillars of native; programmatic, content, balance of art and science and the intersection of advertising and media.

One big thing
The only constant is change. And this week’s stories only highlight that, we see mobile time is growing 27% YOY, DTC brands pulling from social to invest in content, and publishers merging.

This makes for more opportunity and ever-present, the need for smarter, more effective solutions.

So good news, we still all have jobs. The bad news, it’s going to require fresh thinking.

Kevin Kelly’s book, The Inevitable is a good read, on the pace of change we all experience day to day. And how we are swapping to an ‘always upgrading/changing/learning’.

He covers the 12 forces shaping change, the first is “We are in a state of unceasing change and are continually learning and adapting (we are constant ‘newbies’) to the new that is unlike anything that was before.

Give it a read or a listen as you figure out how to navigate Tik Tok this weekend.

Notable stories this week

  • In search of more sustainable acquisition costs DTC brands are pouring money into building content studios as they go beyond performance marketing.
  • Why native is finally opening up to mid-size brands.
  • What is engagement now? On branded content.
  • SAP’s marketing strategy goes beyond B2B decision-makers.
  • This survey on what media spend works best for agencies is a simplistic but valuable POV.
  • TikTok reiterates ban on political advertising, “Any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for our platform, and the nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience”.
  • Tremendous interview with the BrandVerge founders. They now see up to $250m of agency buying power on the platform.
  • Quartz lost $24m in H1, 2019.
  • Facebook agrees to pay advertisers $40m over inflated video stats.
  • ESPN will be partnering Quibi.
  • Oracle/Moat zoom in on pre-click attention and its downstream effects. Hint, optimizing to attention improves conversion rates.
  • Google using machine learning to predict user behavior and manage ad frequency without the presence of third party cookies.
  • Nine paid media experts share their best native advertising tips, including our own Gustaf Stenlund.


  • Group Nine to acquire PopSugar, valuing the latter at $300m per agreed stock values.
  • ^ Related: Media merges highlight arbitrary private valuations.
  • Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital to raise £100m for the next wave of takeovers as well as SV agency Firewood.
  • The Gannett-GateHouse merger is really happening.
  • James Murdoch to acquire a minority stake in Vice.

Campaign of the week

Datapoints of note

  • Cardlytics found that back-to-school shoppers who buyers from a brand both in-store and online spend 48% more than those who use only one of those channels.
  • ^ A good reminder to integrate initiatives.
  • People who have identified themselves as ad avoiders were 22% more engaged and more likely to remember brands mentioned in a podcast compared to TV ads.
  • [Makes sense] 94% of listeners consume podcasts while performing other tasks. Doing chores at home (61%) and driving (55%) were the most common, with exercising, shopping and running errands also popular.
  • Activity makes listeners more receptive. Rather than reducing the brand impact, the research shows that the active group scored more highly on all measures – engagement (+18%), emotional intensity (+40%) and long term memory of the podcast (+22%).
  • Post-GDPR, Financial Times see private deals rise from 5% to 70% of programmatic revenue.
  • 60% growth in mobile time spent in Q2 of this year. 27% growth YOY.




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