Banner Ads Are Dying And Native Is The Future: Junkee Media CEO

Banner Ads Are Dying And Native Is The Future: Junkee Media CEO

Junkee Media CEO Neil Ackland thinks banner ads are dead and native is the strongest path to follow when it comes to media revenue.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

“Banners are dying and native has emerged as a powerful new medium,” Ackland said at Junkee Media’s Upfronts this morning. “We believe that interruption as a model is dying.”

“Junkee Media at some time in the future will no longer display banner ads. We believe that new model is native.”

In their own research, Ackland said they discovered that 55 per cent of all 1600 young Aussies they surveyed are now using ad-blockers.

“Are those ads creating consideration for your brand, are they creating an emotion?” he asked.

Try telling a story in an MREC. Nobody ever cried looking at a banner ad.

“The reason why TV has been so resilient is because it creates an emotional response.”

One of Junkee Media’s new ventures, therefore, includes a project called Cleanskin, or what Ackland calls “a white label solution for brands”.

More than just a website, he said, “We can create a publishing system for a brand, and it’s your brand that sits at the top but it’s our website that sits under the hood”.

“It’s allowing brands that might have their own media, their own website even, and are looking to create and distribute content, can use our own system.

“It’s like a cleanskin bottle of wine; you’ve got the good wine on the inside and a clean label on the outside, and it can sit completely separate from the Junkee platform.

“The brand can work with us to develop a channel for them, a content strategy, distribute content using the tools we’ve created. It doesn’t even need to be about millennials.”

Ackland said SVOD platforms are now dominating consumption time, followed by YouTube and Facebook Videos. But this poses a problem for advertisers.

“If you’re a marketer you can’t advertise on Neflix,” he said. “So what about YouTube?

What do people think about pre-rolls? Well, they hate them, and 94 per cent of users will skip pre-rolls if given the option.

“Facebook video has emerged as serious player with eight billion video views a day and we’re betting big on Facebook as a place to capture our audience.”

And to tap into the rise of video, Junkee Media announced initiatives like Junkee Live, which involves live video panels from the Junkee offices on the latest trends, The American Act, sending Australian drag queen Courtney Act into the depths of American politics and news, and Selfie Shtick, a literal selfie stick travelling the country to capture comedians sharp and witty takes on current events.

“Our video usage starts with Facebook, starts on social, starts on mobile. Our entire lens, our entire way of thinking, starts with mobile,” Ackland said. “So how do you weave a brand into the message?”

“Our video strategy is to fish where the fish are, and that’s Facebook,” he added, coining a term the team uses known as SO-MO-VI, or social, mobile, video, as a way of thinking about its future strategy.

“SO-MO-VI is, we think, a big way of getting native video across to our audience.”

The media industry is on the brink of a “new era of publishing”, according to Junkee Media’s publisher Tim Duggan, who said the role of the media title has never been more important.

“A media title has to stand for something that gets people to give them their time”, he said. “And it’s that quality, consistency and attitude that lets you know it’s worth your time.”

We’re currently entering what we call the post-website era where publishers no longer need websites to drive media consumption.

“Mobile device is dominating their time. We are living in the scrolling economy,” Ackland added.

“Our job as communicators is to stop the thumb. We’re all thumb-stoppers. When Dave is on the train in the morning and he’s got 15 million things to look at what’s going to stop his thumb? This is the game we’re playing.”

“The rise of percentage time spent on mobile is quite staggering. It won’t betoo long before mobile overtakes television. The mobile phase, the mobile era is here.”