With all the focus on native advertising as a viable source of digital ad revenue for publishers, Forbes has leant an element of legitimacy with the announcement that its BrandVoice platform is projected to account for 20 percent of all ad revenues in 2013, a 10 percent jump from last year.
BrandVoice, which launched three years ago as AdVoice, is a big-ticket service that allows brands to contribute ad-labeled content that, if it works right, behaves the same way editorial content does. It appears in the same content streams and gets bumped to ‘most popular’ content modules and social trending lists if it performs well.
So far, it appears advertisers are liking what they see. There will be a dozen new BrandVoice ads appearing by the end of the year, and Forbes is predicting the custom-branded content will rise to 30 percent of all ad revenue by 2014.
Traffic in August was up to almost 25 million unique visitors and, says the company, digital passed print for the first time this year, accounting for 53 percent of ad revenues versus print’s 47 percent.
The program now includes a newly-launched analytics dashboard that lets marketers track the performance of their content across the site and on social networks.