Forbes Estimates BrandVoice Will Generate 20 Percent of Total Ad Revenue This Year

Publisher adds analytics tools for marketers

Forbes has undoubtedly been one of the most ardent proponents of native advertising in publishing—and the company's BrandVoice offering represents a growing area of its business.

The company announced that it expects the 3-year-old native ad offering to account for about 20 percent of total ad revenue this year, rising to an estimated 30 percent in 2014.

On the strength of BrandVoice, as well as programmatic sales, digital ad revenue has exceeded print for the company, as digital now accounts for 53 percent of total ad revenue. And ad revenue from has grown 27 percent this year through September versus the same period last year, according to the publisher.

In theory, sponsored content is as compelling as the articles it lives among. But the risk, of course, is that readers will click on an interesting headline and recoil after realizing the content amounts to advertising in an editorial wrapping.

Native advertising has certainly captured the industry's attention this year, but the jury's still out on how exactly to define it. The IAB did not explicitly break out native in its Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released on Wednesday, because the definition remains so fuzzy.

As Digiday reported on Thursday, brands are increasingly seeking metrics to justify the investment in native. In its announcement today, Forbes also said that it's offering an analytics dashboard to marketers called Stats Dash that aims to measure how branded content performs across the Web.

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