This post is an example that most people running big digital properties understand what’s going on at a high level. Things are usually a lot more complicated beneath the surface and most people outside of the organization don’t have the context to understand what goes into the strategic decision making process.
The trends driving these two divergent areas for the NYT don’t show any sign of letting up.
The appeal of being able to buy targeted audiences at scale and the simple efficiency of automated advertising makes it a no brainer for most advertisers, and thus most publishers.
Meanwhile, the shift to mobile makes developing effective native ads even more important because, as Levien says, “we have not yet arrived at an effective interruptive format, a banner format, in mobile”.
Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter are taking the lion’s share of mobile ad revenue in part because their ads come in the same container as the rest of their content, which works better on mobile devices. The thinking is that publishers need to do the same to compete.