We’re tracking native content teasers on over 20 of the bigger Swedish websites. These are our key stats from May 2020.

May: continued decrease in native articles – but above-average engangement

In may, we continued to see fewer sponsored articles on the bigger Swedish sites than compared to both april and of course may 2019. At the same time, the reduction is still below what we’ve seen and heard in the market for most other formats.

To us, this is positive to see and confirms our belief: native is as always a great and effective format, even in special times like these. With the possibility to convey so much more than a direct offer and instead inform, inspire or entertain it offers a unique opportunity to channel the communications for a brand.

And when looking at statistics from SUNT’s native distribution platform, it becomes clear that consumers are as engaged as ever. In fact, average active read times have been above 2019 levels throughout the whole development of the Corona and Covid-19 situation so far:

Overview of native advertisers and categories in May

For May, our tracking of native articles on major Swedish websites shows a total of around 220 articles from 90 advertisers. What is especially noteworthy this month is the very low number of brands (re)starting running native campaigns. More on that below.

While we saw around 8% of articles being directly or indirectly related to Corona in both March and April, the share of Corona-related native articles was far lower in May.

Trending topics during this month were especially Personal Finance as well as Home & Garden, who also make up the top 3 native content topics along with Business & Finance.

The fact that Education is showing up in trending topics is partially due to an increased presence of especially one brand (Albert).

Most active and new brands running true native articles

After two intensive months, Spotify seem to have completed their native activities for now.

Instead, Svenska Golfförbundet was pushing for their outdoor sport and Ezogreen was seen frequently informing about their environmentally friendly laundry detergent.

As mentioned, the number of brands (re)starting to run sponsored content pieces in May was low. In total, we counted only around 30 brands. And none of the 10 (re)starting brands with most articles was a real “newcomer”: all of them had already run native articles at some earlier point in time. This really symbolizes the uncertainty in the market these days well.

One interesting brand restarting native was Försvarsmakten (the Swedish Military) – pushing with several “employer branding” articles after already being active several months during 2017, 2018 and 2019. Also Polisen followed a similar timing, running native articles in May similar to their push already in the first months of the year.

Also Nespresso was see running native articles for the first time this year, after being active in all of the past 3 years. As before, their focus was primarily on sustainability.

Selected campaign highlights

KIA running articles around their ambasssador, soccer player Kosovare Asllani, and her work for equality and inclusion in youth soccer