Google has seen the multi chanel light. Internet, Print, Now Watch out terestrial radio land. Google-ites at Ad:Tech unveiled their radio advertising control planel for marketers to place national ads in localized markets. Google is planning to
harness its online paid search platform to allow marketers to purchase
contextually targeted radio ads. The program, "Audio Ads," will launch
before the end of the year.
Although the kids manning the Google Radio booth declined to disclose additional details, rumors
swirled Tuesday that the company was planning a major expansion into
radio sales by broadening an alliance with Clear Channel Radio.
Google in April forged a deal
with Clear Channel Radio to introduce AdWords paid search ads to more
than 1,100 of the radio titan's Web sites--but that deal didn't include
a broadcast element. Now reports are circulating that Google may buy $1
billion of ad inventory from Clear Channel to jumpstart the Audio Ads
service, or may buy a stake in the company itself in cooperation with
private equity firms. Clear Channel's management has been weighing a
leveraged buyout that would take the publicly held company private.
Separately from a possible Clear Channel deal, the rollout of Audio Ads
will complete Google's move into radio ad sales--an effort that began
in January with its purchase of dMarc, a firm specializing in the automated sale and placement of radio ads through an online interface.
Google began selling radio ads through an online auction system using dMarc's technology this summer, when it launched
an experimental sales campaign in the Detroit area. However, sales to
date have only been targeted by market, demographic target, or
station--the traditional currencies of radio sales. With the rollout of
Audio Ads later this year, Google will offer customers the ability to
target ads by their context in broadcast airplay, using Google's Ad
Words online interface.
With the new Audio Ads, Google probably intends to introduce metrics similar to online click measurements to radio advertising.