Google Print Take Two

from the second-time-around dept

Apparently, Google still hasn’t given up on extending its advertising network to offline media. Last year, the company launched, to much hype, a plan to auction and distribute ads across magazines. But, it didn’t take too long before the company and participating advertisers realized that it wasn’t working out and wasn’t worth it. It’s trying again, this time with newspapers. Partnering with several major newspapers, it’s launching a three-month trial to auction off unsold ad space over the internet. The thinking is that there’s still billions in ad spending across newspapers, and that if the company can make that process more efficient, then it can get a slice of it. But what strength does Google have in this area? It sounds like the only thing the company brings to the table is a website for automating these sales, but that should be pretty easy to set up. Perhaps the company is just looking at the plan as a way to ally itself with newspapers, with whom its relationship has been testy. And of course the company, to its credit, tries out a lot of things just to see what sticks. So if it fails, it shouldn’t be much of a blow.

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Comments on “Google Print Take Two”

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Rational Beaver says:

“It sounds like the only thing the company brings to the table is a website for automating these sales, but that should be pretty easy to set up.”

Ha ha! It might be easy for a web company, but from my experience most newspapers are still figuring out the basics like online bill payment. A massively scalable, cross-site, real-time, dynamic advertising platform strikes me as a good choice for outsourcing.

Ryan (profile) says:


not only does it bring an automated website, but it brings a TON of already established ad buyers into a marketplace where many of them don’t already spend money.

These people have already commited $x / month to their ad campaigns online, and probably aren’t advertising in newspapers.

It brings a new medium to already established advertisers, and a method for them to handle more than one medium all from the same screen.

It’s a bigger benefit to the adwords customer than it is to the newspapers.

MEoip says:

Why stop at ads? Eventually newspapers will be written this way, articles will be ‘submitted’ over the internet where a computer on the other end formats them; they are attempting to set up a dynamic paper of sorts. No longer will all papers in the city be identical Google will make them dynamic, your full page add will be different then you neighbors.
This cuts costs to advertisers and makes the paper more relevant. This way a bike shop owner can tie the ads into what is on the weather page. Sunny day… Buy a bike, rainy day let’s get a movie theater add brought in. Google is going there while the news corps sit around.

Joel Coehoorn says:

“It sounds like the only thing the company brings to the table is a website for automating these sales, but that should be pretty easy to set up.”

In addition to value others have already mentioned that Google can bring that others can’t will be the ability to buy online and print ads in one place, potentially for several newspapers at once (ie: advertise in the NYTimes and Washington Post with one transaction). I envision Google doing something similar with TV (think text-only adds designed to still be readable while fast-forwarding in TiVo), radio, billboards, and magazines. They’d be a one-stop shop. That may be a bit of a stretch, but not completely impossible.

And if Google manages to become a significant revenue source for newpapers they may even be able to negotiate pre-print access to articles, enabling them to use their famous ability to show context-sensitive ads with web sites to show context-sensitive ads next to newsprint. I can just see it: a headline about a stolen election next to ads for Diebold equipment :).

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