Sponsored Content Is Spreading

by Patrick Appel

Even the Almighty is getting in on the action:

More seriously, Vice apparently relies heavily on sponsored content:

Vice makes more than eighty per cent of its revenue online, much of it through sponsored content, a growing area in online media. Besides selling banner displays and short ads that play before its videos, Vice offers its advertisers the option of funding an entire project in exchange for being listed as co-creator and having editorial input. Advertisers can pay for a single video, or, for a higher price—one to five million dollars for twelve episodes, according to Vice—they can pay for an entire series, on a topic that dovetails with the company’s image. (The North Face, the outdoors company, recently sponsored a series called “Far Out,” in which Vice staffers visit people living in “the most remote places on Earth.”)

Meanwhile, Richard Gingras, Senior Director of News and Social Products at Google, describes Google’s firm stance against “promotional and commerce journalism”:

If a site mixes news content with affiliate, promotional, advertorial, or marketing materials (for your company or another party), we strongly recommend that you separate non-news content on a different host or directory, block it from being crawled with robots.txt, or create a Google News Sitemap for your news articles only. Otherwise, if we learn of promotional content mixed with news content, we may exclude your entire publication from Google News.

Previous Dish thread on advertorials here.