The New York Times plans to introduce a video version of native advertising this fall, tailored to smartphone display and with presentation formats targeted to specific times of the day.
The new offering goes by the slightly highfalutin label “Mobile Moments.” According a Times news release this morning, the commercial content will emphasize storytelling, often with an entertaining or inspiring component. These will be produced either by advertisers themselves or by the same 40-person T Brand Studio that already does text-based native ads (which the Times call “paid posts”).
Sebastian Tomich, senior vice president of advertising and innovation, who runs the Times native advertising effort, told Ad Age the new format (which will include variants like graphics or interactives) is an antidote to irritating and not very effective interstitial banners that display poorly on smartphones. They should command a premium price accordingly.
The advertising program piggybacks on a suite of day-parted news products the Times has launched and is developing for mobile users. For instance, early morning is the time for a start-your-day news briefing and mostly text-based ads. For commute-home or evening viewers, the mix will shift to much more photos and video.
The ads will occupy three-quarters of the screen, encouraging viewing but also allowing users to opt out to news content above or below. The Times will be offering seven day parts, each available to a single advertiser at a time.
The announcement comes two days in advance of The New York Times Company’s release of second quarter financial results and is clearly meant to signal innovation in digital advertising.