Native Ad Spend Increased by 600% Between 2014 and 2016; US Market to Touch $28 Billion in 2018

Native Ad Spend Increased by 600% Between 2014 and 2016; US Market to Touch $28 Billion in 2018

via Nativo

Nativo unveils Industry-First Report on Native Ad Spend Study Across Entire Marketplace. The study finds 600% growth in native ad spend in True Native and Native Video. However, ad spend fluctuations vary widely by vertical.

Nativo, the leading native advertising technology platform, has released a pioneering study in native ad spend category. The study, which is the first of its kind in the industry, aims to make digital marketers aware of how specific verticals have allocated their native investments in the last three years.

The study by Nativo is a landmark resource for native advertisers who are yet to ascertain how the market is reacting to their technologies and solutions, especially with programmatic capabilities rising to the top. Nativo has accounted for the ad spends made across the entire marketplace, examining the investments from Q1’2014 through Q4’2016.

“Native spend continues to grow rapidly overall, but beneath that linear trajectory we’ve witnessed a lot of fluctuations vertical to vertical,” said Casey Wuestefeld, Vice President, Campaign Operations at Nativo.

Findings by Nativo Study on Native Ad Spend

The report by Nativo asserts that overall, native spend is on the rise. According to the study that covered all verticals in Nativo’s marketplace, spending increased by 600% from 2014 to 2016. The industry-first report on native ad spending validates eMarketer’s forecast on the size of the market in 2018.

Native ad spend 2014-2016
Native ad spend showed 600% growth from 2014 to 2016, with vertical ad spend varying YOY (Source- Nativo)

Compared to the eMarketer report that estimates the US digital display ad spend to grow 36.2% in 2017, touching $22.09 billion, Nativo’s study also puts up a very similar number, although breaking down the investments made in each vertical within the marketplace.

Parameters of Nativo’s 3-Year Native Ad Spend and Engagement Data Study

  • Timeframe: Q1’2014 through Q4’2016
  • Total impressions studied: 1.02 Billion in the United States (mobile and desktop)
  • Verticals represented (10): Automotive (OEM), Tech B2B, Tech B2C, Entertainment, Finance & Insurance, Food & Drink, Travel, CPG, Business, Health & Fitness
  • Brand advertisers represented: 700+
  • Native formats represented: True Native and Native Video

Unique Study owing to Market Segmentation

Beyond the broader positive outlook for native, never before had the ad spend trends been broken down by specific verticals. Before Nativo’s initiative to carry out the research, the industry only had access to vertical trends anecdotally.

To provide digital marketers with insightful benchmark data, Nativo analyzed three years of native ad spend on their signature True Native (in feed, click-in native ad units) and Native Video formats.

Aggregate Share in Native Ad
Aggregate Share of Fast Adopters and Fast Movers in Native Ad Marketplace


Results reveal markedly different ad spend trends by vertical.

Key vertical findings from the three-year study include:

  • Year over year, Food & Drink grew their share of native ad spend the most by 9%. Food & Drink is followed by Travel and Business, which both grew their share by 4%.
  • Automotive (OEM), Tech B2B, Entertainment, Tech B2C and Finance and Insurance, all early adopters of native advertising in 2014, saw their aggregate share of budget decline by 20%, from 57% in 2014 to 37% in 2016.
  • Conversely, slower vertical adopters of native—Business, CPG, Travel, and Food & Beverage—grew by 24% to reach 45% aggregate share of the budget in 2016.
  • Combining all related campaigns (OEM, After-Market, etc.), Automotive remains the most active vertical year over year.
  • Top performing verticals in terms of engagement include CPG, Entertainment, Travel, Food & Drink, and Tech B2C.
Vertical share of FastAdopters versus FastMovers
Vertical share of FastAdopters versus FastMovers

Wuestefeld adds, “The data indicates that while advertisers are committed to increasing their investment in native, they are still experimenting where content strategies fit within their overall marketing mix.”



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