The new offering is an essential step in expanding programmatic buying to native advertising.

Native advertising, ads which mimic the environment they appear in, have been on the rise as consumers increasingly find ways to block or skip more traditional ad formats. However, the scalability of native advertising, which often requires tailored content, has been a challenge. Discovery platform Taboola and ad tech company AppNexus are trying to change this with the launch of the largest-ever native advertising real-time bidding (RTB) programmatic buying platform.

The collaboration and the new integration will allow AppNexus advertising partners to programmatically buy premium placements across Taboola, which is the largest content discovery platform in the world and reaches over 1 billion users around the world. Over 85 marketers have already used the AppNexus platform to purchase or activate programmatic native ad campaigns on Taboola.

The way the integration works is that advertisers who use AppNexus can bid directly on Taboola’s premium inventory in real-time using their AppNexus buying console. The ability to apply programmatic buying to native content may help it achieve the scale many advertisers are looking for. The RTB integration is the first to follow the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) OpenRTB Specification Version 2.3, a new standard designed to allow real-time bidding on individual ad impressions.

In the past, the expense and time needed to create site-specific native campaigns directly with publishers have made it hard for marketers and brands to scale those efforts up and to make wholesale purchases of native advertising.

“Our team at AppNexus is always thinking about how to provide the best value to our advertiser partners, and the scale and quality of our available inventory are crucial to that effort,” said Casey Birtwell, SVP&GM, Advertiser Technology Group, AppNexus. “Taboola has established itself as the leader in the content discovery space, and a vital partner to bring onto our programmatic platform. We look forward to collaborating on new and innovative ways to leverage their expansive network and further scale native into a major new marketing channel.”

Many reports cite the rise of native advertising as consumers continue to reject traditional advertising. Native ad spends rising as digital advertisers shift away from banner ads and move into the media creation space. The current understanding is that people brands and advertisers need to offer consumers content they can enjoy and interact with and not static banner ads. Native advertising is less disruptive to a user’s experience and especially prevalent on mobile, where more and more consumers are spending more of their time.

“Native has become a major opportunity for marketers of all sizes, enabling brands to engage with consumers in an authentic, invitation-based fashion where people choose to engage,” said Adam Singolda, founder, and CEO at Taboola. “We’re excited to work together with AppNexus on unlocking the full potential of this new category, opening up our discovery platform to thousands of new advertiser partners, enabling brands to integrate native into their overall media strategies, programmatically.”

Taboola has created a reliable platform for content discovery by developing predictive technology that analyzes real-time signals, like geography, referral source, device type, social media trends, and more, to match people with content they are likely to be interested in. This also includes native ads and will help advertisers connect the right content with the right consumer. The integration with AppNexus will also help publishers by creating a new source of revenue for the native ads they are selling.

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