Outbrain Survey Reveals 2 out of 5 Consumers Always Find Interesting Native Content

Outbrain, the world’s leading discovery and native advertising platform for the open web, released the full results of its recent native advertising omnibus survey.

The survey, which focused on how consumers feel about native advertising across social platforms and media publishers. Segmented by different age groups (Millennials, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers), participants were surveyed on how they felt about certain types of ads, where they consumed their online news and whether they trusted the content they are shown.

“The majority of ad environments breed distrust among consumers. This means brands must work harder to ensure they are serving relevant content and that their message is reaching the right audience,” said Arnon Sobol, Vice President, Global Business Strategy – Data Solutions at Outbrain. “With native advertising, it is easier to control the message while also showing ads in a safe place, adding an additional layer of brand safety. Through our survey, we found that all three generations are more trusting of native ads, especially amongst premium publishers.”

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Native advertising has been on an upward trajectory ever since it first gained attention in the digital space. In fact, eMarketer projects that native advertising will account for 65% of ad spend on the web this year. Native advertising takes many shapes and forms, including everything from sponsored content to social media feeds to feeds on the open web. Which begs the question: is all native advertising created equal? What in fact are consumer attitudes to native advertising?

Context, quality, targeting, and relevance are all important factors in ad receptivity, so we decided to investigate how U.S. consumers feel about native advertising, specifically discovery feeds on the open web versus social feeds like Facebook.

Key Findings from the Report Include:

1. Consumers are significantly more likely to understand why they’re shown native ads compared to ads on Facebook (57% vs 52%).

2. This understanding extends to trust with 22% of consumers trusting native ads versus 17% trusting Facebook ads.

3. 28% of consumers have clicked on native content in the past six months. Native Discoveries are considered educational, interesting, and relevant.

  • 46% of consumers have learned things from prior recommendations.
  • 2-in-5 consumers: Always find interesting content; Find value in recommendations; Find the content engaging.

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The findings are from Engine’s CARAVAN U.S. Omnibus conducted May 30-June 2 and June 3-5, 2019. A sample of roughly 1,000 adults were interviewed online in English.