Time Inc.'s native advertising doubled in 2016

Dive Brief:

  • Time Inc.'s native advertising revenue doubled in 2016, with more than 400 advertisers participating in approximately 600 programs, the company revealed during a conference call with analysts to discuss Q4 results. Native is on pace for another strong year in 2017, with Q1 revenues also doubling.
  • “We believe we are very well positioned to be a major player in the native space given the combination of our storytelling, powerful brands, massive scale, and targeting capabilities with Viant,” said Richard L. Battista, CEO and president of Time Inc., during the call.
  • Overall, Time Inc.’s digital advertising revenue increased 15% year-over-year during Q4, excluding its Viant acquisition. Programmatic grew by 25% or more year-over-year in 2016. 

Dive Insight:

Time Inc.’s latest quarterly results come at a time when publishers in general are seeking strategies for addressing a host of challenges with digital media, including ad blocking, competition for attention from social media sites and other monetization hurdles. 

In an effort to address the stumbling blocks in an evolving digital landscape, Time Inc. is endeavoring to transform itself from a print publisher into a multi-platform media company comprised of unified platforms across editorial, advertising, consumer marketing and technology, simultaneously moving away from individual siloed brands. The goal is to grow the business through collaboration and quick execution on key topics.

Its platform strategy is helping Time Inc. deliver growth, per the company. In Q4, total advertising was up 5% year-over-year while digital advertising, excluding the Viant acquisition, was up 15%. In December, comScore measured Time Inc.’s online audience at 129 million visitors, an increase of 13%.

Time Inc.'s native advertising strategy reflects a critical effort to introduce less intrusive ad formats and combat ad blocking. Native joins digital video and data targeting as three key revenue growth drivers for the company. In digital video, Time Inc. recently launched Coinage, a personal finance digital title, that is sponsored by Geico and will deliver more than 600 videos in its first year.

The publisher is also focused on pursuing storytelling on new platforms and for new audiences. For example, Entertainment Weekly and Essence are joining People on Snapchat, which the publisher expects will help build its audience and connect its brands with younger consumers. 

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Top image credit: Time Inc.