Tech Publisher IDG Communications Adds Scale To Native

IDG NATIVEIDG Communications, publisher of more than 1,000 tech websites including PCWorld, TechHive and, is launching a native platform Wednesday.

The platform will span across all its properties and include contextual placements such as in-feed video or links to branded content created by IDG’s team.

IDG is embracing native because it better aligns with how its audience is consuming content and how its advertisers want to market to that audience, the company said.

“Digital display ads are becoming the new print,” IDG CEO Mike Friedenberg said. “Extending into native, video, social and mobile is going to allow us to continue to grow.”

Across all its properties, about a quarter of IDG’s audience accesses content on smartphones, where native advertising works better. That number will continue to grow, Friedenberg said.

IDG’s advertisers are ready to create and buy native placements, he said. “This is a pull type of market demand, where they are asking us to deliver these types of experiences.”

Advertisers buying native on IDG can bring their own content or have IDG create it for them.

IDG already has a 73-person strong marketing services arm that creates content for customers, including websites, that goes beyond IDG’s owned and operated properties. That arm can function as a content studio for any advertisers who want IDG to create sponsored content.

While the resources required for content creation often slow down advertisers’ embrace of native, publishers tend to have challenges ensuring the content will be seen by a sufficient amount of their readers. Because IDG is rolling native out across all its properties simultaneously, it expects that the combined scale of its properties will give advertisers the eyeballs they need, Friedenberg said.

Advertisers can extend their buys across all of IDG’s sites, paying on a CPM basis. If they want even more reach, IDG can distribute the content to other publishers using Nativo, the tech provider behind IDG’s native platform.

Integrating Nativo’s technology was made easier by the fact that it needed only one main point of integration: IDG activates content on its O&O properties with its global content management system, Apollo. Implemented last September, it added features like lazy loading (when articles and ads load when a user scrolls down) across 1,000 properties. The consistent content management system made it easier to add features like native to all the sites.

With all its native tech in place, IDG will seek out advertiser budgets for native. Market forces are in IDG’s favor: Friedenberg cited a BI Intelligence estimate that native advertising will grow to $21 billion by 2018.



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