Publishers bring native ads to their comment sections

Native advertising, the ad format du jour, has been an effective way for publishers to make money, ostensibly without interfering with the reader experience, reports Digiday.

Now, publishers — including Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Evolve Media — are bringing that same idea to the one part of their sites they have so far neglected to monetise: their comments sections. They are the earliest adopters of the new “Sponsored Comments” ad format, which will let advertisers directly target specific verticals and readers, from Disqus, which teased the feature in December.

“With the pressures that all publishers are under to keep up with the downward pressures on CPMs, everyone’s looking for alternative monetisation,” said David Denton, VP of product at Evolve Media, one of the first to use sponsored comments. ”This presents new real estate further down the page that’s not intrusive and more consistent with how we want to present our site.”

The New York Times used the format as a test to advertise one of its own stories on other sites. The unobtrusive ads, which appear with a “Sponsored on Disqus” disclosure, also feature a gray background, which Disqus says is a clear sign to readers that the placements are ads. Ziploc and Maker Studios also signed on as early advertisers.

Read the rest of this article at Digiday

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