Sound Alliance formalises native advertising team

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 16 October 2014
Junkee Media boss Neil Ackland

Native advertising is not just a 'shiny new toy anymore' and Sound Alliance is leading the charge to have it taken seriously. It has formalised its branded content capabilities, launching a dedicated unit called Native Studio and boosting the number of staff working in the team.

The Native Studio has six staff members, with Sound Alliance making three new hires as part of studio's launch. It now includes two native advertising editors, a social media manager, account manager, designer and creative director Stig Richards.

The company was one of the first to appoint a native advertising editor in Septebmer 2013. Since then, its investment in native advertising has grown, with the unit making up almost 30% of it's total advertising revenue.

While Sound Alliance trialled its native advertising with the launch of it's pop-culture publication Junkee, it now uses it across its publications.

Speaking to AdNews, Sound Alliance CEO Neil Ackland said almost every media brief the company receives has a content componant in some form, making the time ripe to formalise it's native advertising capacities. He said he can see a time where Sound Alliance's native advertising revenue eclipses other ad dollars.

“We've seen the market move on now from trying to define what native advertising is and explain it to clients. So now, lots of brands are moving beyond just trying native and actually starting to look at measurement and effectiveness and how to really make it work for them. The category is maturing a bit more now,” Ackland said.

Speaking to AdNews in September, Sound Alliance content director Tim Duggan said investment in native is important if the industry is to dispel the view that it's a fad.

He said while native advertising is seen as “this shiny new toy” its really just giving a name to the idea of creating compelling content.

Duggen said the company's next focus is pushing the importance of effective measurement for native advertising.

He said that comparing native advertising campaigns is like comparing apples and oranges, unlike traditional display advertising which has a standard CTR of measurement.

“There is no regulation and no consistency at the moment,” Duggan said. “If a brand works across five different publishers of native advertising they’ll all be presented differently, they’ll all probably have different results and they’ll all probably be measured differently. That can be really confusing.”

 

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