LAS VEGAS — The New York Times wants to make a big deal out of crafting sponsored articles for advertisers on mobile.

“Native is the ad format for mobile … discoverable in-stream right alongside our own content,” says ad products SVP Michael Zimbalist. “We see a big opportunity for The New York Times and for premium publishers to create content for brands that’s native to the mobile experience.”

The scheme is part of the publisher’s Paid Posts sponsored content initiative. Zimbalist also says, in the mobile age, search’s importance as a source of traffic referral is diminished.

“Search is slowly being subordinated by social. It’s the smaller percentage of traffic but it’s the fastest growing. The way search works on mobile for consumers is different than the way it works on the web. (Mobile) will continue to evolve away from straight search.”

Here is a report in today’s Capital New York about hiring at the Times for its sponsored advertising unit.

He was interviewed for Beet.TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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