Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

14 Best Native Ad Networks for Publishers in 2024

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Digital publishers looking to maximize their revenue should consider folding native advertising campaigns into their monetization model.

A study conducted in 2017 found that native ad campaigns could help publishers boost click-through rates (CTRs) by as much as ninefold (PDF download). While the study is showing its age now, the fact that native ad spending has accounted for the lion’s share of the display ad market over the last five years suggests its findings still hold true.

US native ad spend is projected to grow by 12% year on year in 2023, regaining some of its growth momentum after slowing in 2022.

US native ad spend is projected to grow by 12% year on year in 2023, regaining some of its growth momentum after slowing in 2022. Source: InsiderIntellinece

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Read Also: Top 10 Best Pay Per Click Ads Programs In 2024

Native ad networks specialize in placing ads that match the style and consistency of the publisher’s existing content. The best native advertising networks make use of 100% of a publisher’s inventory, optimizing potential ad revenue.

Networks will take a cut of the ad revenue, usually around 50%. Each native ad network has its own agreements, and it’s possible that these terms may change from publisher to publisher.

Before we dive into our list of the 15 best native ad networks in 2022, let’s quickly review what native ad networks are and the various types of native advertising.

What Are Native Ad Networks?

Native ad networks are the distributor of native ads, which seamlessly blend into the rest of the publisher’s content. Native ads are designed to be unintrusive and many native ad networks develop ways to integrate ads into content without disrupting the flow or the user experience (UX).

These networks provide another source of revenue for publishers without compromising their site’s look and feel. Content recommendation-based native ads can be particularly useful as they provide the feeling of scrolling through a social media platform, keeping audiences engaged.

Native ads can command higher CTRs than display ads because they’re less intrusive than other ad formats, leaving audiences less frustrated compared to other interruptive ads (PDF download).

Native ad networks can also simulate content syndication platforms, offering publishers the chance to share their content with other places on the web, while also providing a backlink back to their site. This can help optimize the original article’s search engine ranking and reach new audiences, especially as the top native ad networks help reach those audiences through features like live monitoring and A/B testing.

Types of Native Advertising 

While there are many different types of native ads, with some ad networks creating unique varieties, four types tend to be used across all native ad networks:

  • Content recommendation
  • In-article native ads
  • Video ads
  • In-feed native ads

Content Recommendation

Content recommendations tend to appear at the bottom of an article and showcase suggested articles for individual users. They tend to appear as a list and are usually highlighted as sponsored content.

Here’s a screenshot of a content recommendation panel at the bottom of a CNN article.

Here’s a screenshot of a content recommendation panel at the bottom of a CNN article. Source: CNN

In-Article Native Ads

An in-article native ad comes between two different paragraphs in the middle of the article. It will usually appear in a list similar to the content recommendation ad.

These are useful for audiences to view ads as they scroll through the article, while still allowing them to control the amount of time they view the ad. If they want to ignore it, they can just scroll past.

Here’s an example taken from Forbes.

These in-article ads lead to sponsored posts published on Forbes’ site.

These in-article ads lead to sponsored posts published on Forbes’ site. Source: Forbes

Video Ads

A native video ad doesn’t act as a barrier for users looking to consume a publisher’s content, in the way a pre-roll video would.

Instead, the videos are click-to-play, meaning they start playing at first without sound, and then a user can opt into the ad by clicking the video.

A screenshot of a native video video ad, with the sound muted, that started playing as soon as we scrolled past it

A screenshot of a native video ad, with the sound muted, that started playing as soon as we scrolled past it. Source: VideoGamer

In-Feed Native Ad

The in-feed native ad appears in the middle of a social media feed. These are designed to reappear in the infinite scroll of social media and blend in seamlessly with the feed. Typically, these appear as posts sponsored by advertisers.

In-Feed Native Ad

A screenshot of a typical example of an Facebook in-feed ad. Source: Facebook

Note how it looks exactly like any other post — people can comment, share and leave likes. The similarities between the ad and regular posts are the hallmark of native ads.

Related: Top 15 Highest Paying Ad Networks for Bloggers and Small Publishers In 2024

14 Best Native Ad Networks

Please note that because these are not deep-dive reviews, we’ve listed the following platforms alphabetically rather than in order of preference.

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