The New York Times ran an incredible native ad in June for Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” that was so compelling in its writing and slick in presentation, it even had skeptical journalists praising it. Netflix ran a similarly elaborate ad campaign on Wired the month before. Both had very different messages — the Times post examined women in prison while Wired’s looked at how TV viewing is changing — and different costs and objectives.
Ad measurement company Nudge evaluated both ads on their performance on mobile, engagement and the effects of paid distribution. With the caveat that Nudge was limited to using public data and couldn’t measure total audience on the site, read on to see which ad fared better.
Here, the overall advantage went to Wired. The ad on the Condé Nast title got 130,955 shares to the Times’s 6,710. Nearly all of the Wired shares came from StumbleUpon, though, so the sharing took place across a narrower base of consumers. Subtracting StumbleUpon, the Times had more shares. Possible explanation: People actively recommend content when they think it will enhance their social status or promote a cause, and the Times post had a strong emotional message.
The Times post had 2.5 times as many shares on LinkedIn as Wired’s. This was likely due to intense industry chatter about the native ad, because the Times had only recently started running native ads and only just starting to produce them in-house.
Beyond sharing, the amount of time people actually spend on an article is a strong indicator of the value they place on it. Nudge didn’t have direct access to the sites’ data on time spent on the ads, so it bought sponsored posts on Twitter to get traffic toward the two pieces of content and then looked at how people viewed the ad. The advantage went to the Times ad, which people spent on average 3.21 attention minutes (defined as active time on the page) versus 1.2 for the Wired ad.
The ads delivered similar results, but the Wired ad won by a nose with 152,311 estimated earned impressions to the Times’s 145,318.
The Times ad got more industry chatter, but Wired’s saw more overall shares. Given the size advantage of the Times (16.9 million monthly uniques to 1.5 million for Wired, according to Quantcast), it could easily be interpreted that the Wired ad delivering a greater return. On the other hand, the Times performed best in those highly desirable attention minutes and had a more diverse base of shares.
However, Fitzco’s research “has consistently shown that environmental issues and sustainability are important topics to younger skewing audiences. The focus on social, along with visual representation of data, aligns with the type of content a younger audience consumes,” she said. Joyce, on the other hand, said interest in sustainability content from advertisers and consumers “has […]
The Washington Post invests in climate coverage as its team expands to over 30 journalists
The Post's climate team continues to expand as the publisher makes big bets on the beat drawing younger audiences.
Inside one media company’s strategy to monetize the Fifa World Cup
Soccer media business Footballco has spent most of 2022 trying to make hay while the sun is shining.
SponsoredHow brands are measuring incremental performance on CTV
Connected TV is unique among other advertising channels because it combines linear television’s storytelling capabilities with digital marketing’s targeting and measurement. As more marketers leverage CTV advertisements to reach relevant and engaged audiences, they also want to understand the real value they are generating with their investment. Incrementality reporting and measurement allow advertisers to measure […]
Publishers continue to evaluate cost-cutting in Q4, with economic and budgetary pressures mounting
The wave of cost-cutting measures in Q3 is still flowing into Q4, with publishers under pressure to keep expenses down at a time of continuing economic uncertainty and budget planning.
Media Briefing: Publishers’ Q3 earnings reports show promise, but not without sacrifice
Publishers' third quarter earning reports are in.