Google takes big jump into radio sandbox

The search engine giant made another big move beyond online and into mainstream advertising with news of a deal this weekend with radio and outdoor giant Clear Channel.

Associated Press reports the two have “announced a long-term agreement Sunday that will allow the Internet search leader to place advertising for its online customers on more than 675 Clear Channel radio stations.

“This radio partnership with Clear Channel is a pretty big statement that Google is in the radio industry to stay and have a big impact,” said Drew Hilles, Google Audio’s national sales director.

The agreement will give Google advertisers that had not relied on radio direct access to Clear Channel’s national distribution system through an easy-to-use interface, Hilles said.

It will also allow those customers to target their campaigns, reaching particular audiences in targeted locations at specific times, and to get quick feedback about their campaigns, he said.

This comes on the heels of deals that has Google also more than dabbling in TV and newspaper classifieds, though the roots of this deal go back a year, when Google paid $1 billion for a firm that figured out an automated ad-buying system for the radio business.

I mention all this because Google is sniffing around and exploring patents in our much smaller, but fast-growing space. I still wonder how an automated ad-buying system will match up with many or most of the proprietary software packages driving digital signage these days.

Presumably, decades of business have whittled down the radio business to a handful of key players, making that handshake fairly simple. Meanwhile, there’s some 300 of us all doing things a little differently, most of them not even on a Web-based platform.

However, with many ad-driven sign networks fighting for brand and agency table scraps, Google coming along and saying “We’ll provide revenues, if you can provide us with an interface” might force the issue on vendors.

Fellow industry Bill Gerba blogger weighs in on this over here.


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3 Comments on “Google takes big jump into radio sandbox”

  1. Bill Gerba Says:

    Fellow industry Bill Gerba weighs in…
    Awesome, I’m my own industry now 🙂 Thanks for the upgrade!

  2. Barnaby Page Says:

    It’s easy to see, also, how all the location-based information Google now has with Google Maps could link into digital signage (not to mention SMS marketing).

  3. screenmedia Says:

    Re Gerba his own industry

    Being your own industry Bill is a big responsibility. No need to be flippant about it!

    By the way, you’ve been downgraded to industry blogger as a result of your cheekiness


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