Follo said, "Digital advertising continued to experience challenges in the quarter from programmatic buying issues, which led to pressure on ad rates, as well as some additional pricing pressures caused by the glut of traditional ad inventory."
During the quarter, the Times made its first foray into native ads. Speaking at AdExchanger's Industry Preview conference in January, VP of Research and Development Operations Michael Zimbalist said, “We think of native as discovery. It steers audiences toward branded content, which has access to the same kind of tools that go in to the creation and presentation of our stories across our site."
The company is being very careful on labeling – some might say too careful. Its native ads use a different font, color and typestyle. Media sellers like Twitter, Buzzfeed and Facebook, unencumbered by the church-state concerns of news media, have taken a more visually integrated approach.