Native Ad Industry Booms, Capitalizing on Hunger for Ads That Don’t Look Like Advertising

Native ad firm AdYouLike is staking its reputation on the assumption that the ads you like may not look like ads. That bet appears to be paying off, as a report from the firm shows the native ad industry set to grow to $400 billion by 2025, a 372% jump from the projected size of the market in 2020.

Native ads are ads that blend into the editorial flow of whatever medium they’re in. That means social posts that look like typical Facebook or Instagram content from media organizations and companies and even thought leadership-style posts that look like a BuzzFeed staffer could have penned them.

Imagine an apparel brand buying an ad discussing hot trends and accessories for the spring season on a media site popular with millennial women. In the native format, that ad might be a post instead of an ostentatious banner ad popping out at the reader at the top of her screen.

AdYouLike’s approach relies on artificial intelligence and data analysis to serve relevant, contextually sensible ads.

Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015 and has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016.

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