Over half of UK millenials (57 per cent) will visit online content that appeals to them even if it has been obviously paid for or sponsored, with the figure rising to 63 per cent among 18-24 year olds, according to a new study.
The study of 1000 UK adults aged 18-33, commissioned by native advertising platform Adyoulike, found that written feature articles are the type of paid-for online content most people prefer to consume (32 per cent of users), followed by list-based articles (24 per cent ) and videos (17 per cent). Although sponsored social media posts form a key part of many brands’ content strategies, only 13 per cent of Brits prefer them.
The study also found that consumers are increasingly more aware of the terms online marketers, publishers and content providers use. Around half (52 per cent) are familiar with ‘editorial’ and 41 per cent are familiar with what ‘sponsored’ means, a third (32 per cent ) know about ‘advertorial’ and 29 per cent understand the concept of ‘branded’.
Francis Turner, managing director of Adyoulike UK, commented on the results: “People want great content, and increasingly they don’t care if those articles and videos are sponsored or not. Sponsored content has been used by brands and publishers for years, so the explosive growth of native advertising in recent months is simply the digital world catching up through online, video and mobile.
“Native ads don’t have to try and ‘trick’ consumers into thinking they’re viewing standard content, whether it be through video, online or mobile – this study shows that if the content is good enough, people don’t care where it came from.”
The survey also found that news was the most popular subject matter of online content (viewed by 76 per cent of users), followed by sport (38 per cent, up to 61 per cent among men) and lifestyle pieces (24 per cent).
Traditional media sources such as newspaper websites or the BBC are the most popular source for news (85 per cent), while 9 per cent use digital news aggregators such as Facebook, Twitter and Feedly and 6 per cent use newer forms of online news sites such as Buzzfeed and Vice.
The results come at a pertinent time in the native advertising conversation. Earlier this week ISBA president Simon Litherland called on the advertising industry to address an "all-time low" in trust among consumers and urged the industry to carry out an "open and honest" conversation on the value exchange between consumers and advertising.