Thursday, December 12, 2013

Native advertising and digital news financing

Native advertising is a nice name for a system that mixes up news and advertising. It is a big success on American websites including serious ones like the New York Times and the Washington Post. The internaut thinks he reads a proper piece of reporting but he hardly notices a discreet mention that the article is in fact an advertising handsomely paid by some big corporation.

Everybody knows what matters. The digital news services are at pains to break even. Proper advertising is not coming in; the paying wall works only for very powerful brands like the N Y Times and the internet audience is split between thousands of sites, most of them don't care about news and investigative reporting.
So, why not to try a bit of N A which carries much more credibility for the announcements than proper advertising? In a recent article Les Echos mentioned that the income of native advertising could be well over 2 billions dollars in 2014 in the US. A welcome windfall for the ailing news services.

Still it is not a miracle solution. The credibility of the news offers is at stake. The public will not be fooled for very long. I believe that good well checked information is a sound long term investment. The efficient and economically viable digital news service is yet to come.