Sponsored Content Takes Larger Role in Media Companies
For some publishers unsettled by a fast-changing online advertising business, sponsored content has provided much-needed relief.
In recent years, publications large and small have invested in teams to make sponsored content — written stories, videos or podcasts that look and feel like journalistic content — hoping to make up for declines in conventional advertising. To varying degrees, they have succeeded.
Younger companies like Vice and BuzzFeed have built whole businesses around the concept. The Atlantic has said that three-quarters of its ad revenue now comes from sponsored content. Slate, the web publisher, says that about half of its ad revenue comes from native ads, as sponsored content is also called, and the other half from traditional banner or display ads. Many major newspapers, including The New York Times, have declared sponsored content to be an important part of their strategies.