Engagement is king when it comes to advertising, which is why a less intrusive, more seamless form of native ads is on the rise. In fact, US spending on digital native advertising has grown in the double digits year-over-year (YoY) over the last few years. 

Here, we break down the state of the native advertising industry in 2022. 

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is designed to look and function seamlessly within the medium or platform it’s published on. This promotion of a product or service, although labeled as advertising, will often take the shape of the environment in which it appears, in order to be less disruptive to the customer experience. 

Our broad definition includes ads for sponsored content, promoted content, content recommendation widgets, in-feed units (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo News), rewarded video, and outstream video within a feed or article. 

Because native advertising includes social, native ad spending is almost entirely mobile. We estimate that native programmatic video represents one-fifth of total programmatic spending. About 9 in 10 native video ad dollars will transact programmatically this year.

Native ad spending forecast 2022 

Last year, advertisers spent $118.72 billion on display advertising—a 39.4% increase over the previous year. 64.2% of total display ad spending was dedicated to native display ad placements, which include promoted content and in-feed units on social networks and news sites. 

In 2022, we expect a 14.9% increase YoY in native display ad spending, reaching $87.6 billion. The majority of this spend will be put toward mobile devices and social media platforms, due to increased usage of both. In fact, native social display advertising is forecasted to grow 17.6% this year and 13.9% in 2023.

Programmatic display advertising—digital display ads transacted via an API—is also thriving, with marketers increasing their spend despite lingering uncertainty, as third-party identifiers are slowly phased out. Honing in, native programmatic display ad spending in particular will reach $83.42 billion, or 67.7% of overall programmatic display ad spending.

Native video ad spending

Native video advertising 2022

Video advertising is a growing part of total social network ad spending, as platforms continue to invest in native content spaces and compelling ad formats. This year, US social network video ad spending will grow by 20.1% YoY to $24.35 billion, making up over a third of total US social network ad spending. Although that share has gradually decreased since 2017— and will continue to trend down as channels like connected TV (CTV) take a stronger hold— social media will remain a substantial part of digital video advertising over all.

In recent years, social networks have built robust native spaces for user-generated, creator, publisher, and even original video content. TikTok is all video, but its success inspired clones like Instagram Reels and Snapchat Spotlight. Instagram Stories has its share of copycats, as well, even though some—like Twitter Fleets and LinkedIn Stories—were short lived. Additional spaces include premium content havens like Facebook Watch and, most recently, a rush of social livestreaming destinations, notably including Pinterest TV.