Ben Young
Ben Young
October 6, 2016

New York Times showcases some of Google’s Native Stack, which is neat, where we see premium publishers experimenting. It’s an early indicator of where the rest of the market will follow, especially given the Times role in helping spread native content.

I have an ask this week… we want to feature more people in the industry. If you’d like to put your hand up, or someone you think we should talk to, we want to do a few interviews and share with the community.

Further, we see a dichotomy with Facebook, pushing transparency on to publishers but having transparency issues of its own… reiterating my take last week that the long run here is more transparency.

Notable Stories this Week

Campaign of the Week

  • Couple here from WSJ… the first up is their Narcos execution: Follow the Money – How do you hide $1b a month? (a great question), a follow up on last year’s Cocainenomics. A great piece, weaving parts of the show in the narrative, making it stand alone.
  • Also from WSJ Transforming the Course for Microsoft Cloud, using data to inform design and the story behind Golf Course Design Gil Hanse working with Microsoft Cloud. Perfect example of thought leadership and practical use of the cloud tools.
  • People and Old Navy tap in to current issues (the election) in a way that’s right for the brand. Asking people to rep their local wear, including links to the products. Brilliant execution.
  • And Dewars The Best Dressed Less Stressed Dinner Party with InsideHook. In particular I like the flow chart. Some product links would have really elevated this though.


  • SnapChat working on an IPO valuing firm at $25b. Expect them to keep refining their monetization options as this IPO gets closer. Will we see influencer rev share? Will we see standard advertising? Will we see desktop? Will we see richer ad units? Or the bones of programmatic native?

Smartest Commentary

  • “Custom native allows brands to create a positive, informative and interesting experience for the consumer without being forceful. When people see that a brand has given them credibility by creating a great experience, they repay that trust with their attention.” -Andrew Mole
  • And more from Andrew [on the future of native content] “Due to more advanced analytics and an increase in research in general around digital, we’ve seen custom native go from being a small addition on bigger digital plans, to being a central part of plans with significant budgets invested. The tide of advertising has shifted from pointless reach metrics and more towards real engagement and ROI.”

Datapoints of Note

  • In this study, native video had an 84% average for completion and the average time spend viewing native content was 56 seconds.
  • In February this year, the IAB put UK adblock usage at around 22%, just 4% growth since the launch of iOS9.
  • I like this from the same “The ‘adblockalyspe’ hasn’t happened, but it has kick-started change for the better. It has reignited a focus on the user and what they will find acceptable.”
  • Programmatic native expected to double in 2017. With growth through addition in spend and replacement. Greg Williams, the co-founder of MediaMath, says he expects that investment in the format to at least double in 2017, with the growth funded not just by money pulled out of other types of spend but by new funding altogether

Trends to Watch/Bleeding Edge