If it’s doing what it’s supposed to do, the blurry nature of native advertising may be difficult to measure in terms of its absolute scale and volume. One way to put dimensions around it is to look at the number of suppliers providing technology to enable it. That’s what the Native Advertising Institute did in 2017 when it took on an ambitious project to benchmark the supply of suppliers. The result was a Lumascape-like chart listing 272 vendors. Based on its 2018 update (see below), the marketplace has expanded 48%, year-over-year, to 402.
The expansion shouldn’t be a surprise, says Chad Pollitt, an expert on the field and co-author of the 2017 edition of “The Global Guide to Native Advertising Technology,” (download it here), because it reflects the growing popularity of native formats with both advertisers and publishers.