Integrated advertising revenue in the US market is projected to make up 74% of total US display ad revenue by 2021 according to Business Insider (BI) Total projected spending for native ads in the US market alone is expected to surpass $36.3 billion in the near future.*

growth of integrated advertising

What is integrated advertising:

These are brand integrations typically embedded into the context of the entertainment content usually by the entertainment creator. They often appeal to audiences as an alternative to interruptive advertising. Often times, social influencers will integrate the brand directly into the visual style and tone of their feed.

Benefit to marketers:

Marketers and advertisers benefit in several ways: reduced production/planning/media costs, reduced overall timeline and perhaps most significantly…providing a seamless brand connection and cohesive content connection with a less disruptive advertising experience. In addition, native ads have also proven effective, drawing higher engagement rates than traditional ads, particularly on mobile devices.

Benefit to social influencers:

Social influencers are able to increase personal revenue streams simply by representing a brand they find interesting in a style their audience expects. Often times, advertisers want the influencer to showcase their own unique creative style and simply want to align with the ethos of the influencer.

Benefit to the audience:

Unlike disruptive ads, native advertising is cohesively tied into the content the audience is seeking. This allows for a cohesive experience of the content with less clutter or interruptive distraction.

Why now:

The continuous expansion in native’s share of display ad revenue has a correllation to the dominance of social platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — which were early champions of native and rely almost entirely on user generated content from platform members.
As each platform increases their daily active users and these users follow the content feeds of popular social influencers, both the market size increases and the efficacy of the marketing tactic increases.

Active users per social platform:

  • Facebook: 2 billion active users
  • YouTube: 1.5 billion active users
  • Instagram: 700 million active users
  • Twitter: 328 million active users
  • Snapchat: 255 active users

Stats from TechCrunch here.

Key considerations:

  • Social influencers often have less all-in cost structure than traditional advertising productions + media buys.
  • Integrated ads, including social native and native ads in-feed on publisher websites, will make up the bulk of native ad revenue from 2017-2021.
  • Native display ad revenue in the US will rise at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% during this time period to eclipse $36 billion by 2021.
  • The rise of native video ads, particularly on social platforms, will be one of the main drivers of this growth.
  • Social influencers generate most of their revenue from native ads and will continue to dominate overall native ad spending through 2021. The dominance of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat on mobile devices, where the entire experience is within a feed, will help propel social’s contribution to overall native ad revenue through 2021.
  • Sponsored content, which has a categorization separately from native-display due to the direct relationship between publishers and brands in creating the format, will be another fast-growing native format in the next five years. However, the high cost to produce these ads and the limitation in inventory may limit the format.


Efficacy and Reach. Integrated advertising continues to provide excellent metrics: time to market, cost/benefit, lead generation, brand awareness and audience engagement.

*BI Intelligence estimates are based off historical data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC, as well as IHS.

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