Google Taking Over The Ad Industry, One Media Buyer At A Time

from the audiophile dept

Google says it’s started the first trials of its radio advertising platform, which allows advertisers to buy airtime and target their ads by location, station type, day of the week, and time of day. That’s not quite the same type or level of context that something like AdWords or AdSense delivers, making you wonder what the value Google’s adding here is. Back when it bought dMarc, the company whose offerings this product is based upon, we wondered how much more efficient Google could make radio advertising. Apparently, it looks like quite a bit: they’re not really doing anything that a savvy media buyer can’t do, but they’ve automated the process. Media buying isn’t a purely quantitative science, for certain, and there are plenty of times where human intelligence and experience are helpful or necessary to determine when and where to place ads. But there are also plenty of times where it’s a pretty mundane task, and automating the process of placing ads could offer significant improvements to productivity and efficiency by freeing people up from doing it (or at least minimizing the time they spend doing so), allowing them to spend their time on other, more worthwhile tasks. This seems like it could deliver much better results than Google’s foray into print advertising. While the economics and the technology are a bit different than its web advertising, which will remain its bread and butter, the efficiency it delivers could prove quite valuable.

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Comments on “Google Taking Over The Ad Industry, One Media Buyer At A Time”

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Gideon Spillett says:

Google Taking Over The Ad Industry, One Media Buye

Maybe Google is adding some value to the equation, but just not disclosing it. For example, they could certainly mine their database for IP addresses of searches, which could be used by and ad buyer to get a demographic on the audience. For example, Google could tell a drug firm where the biggest concentration of searches has been on the search phrase “treatment for shingles.” Then the drug firm could buy time (through Google) at whatever local radio station reaches that audience.

Theoden (profile) says:

When I was a boy...

…there was a guy who would buy huge blocks of ad time and sell them to local advertisers in smaller blocks. He got a discount on the ad rate and passed along some of that to the advertiser – they paid less for a 30 second spot through him than they would if they went directly to the station. Part of the way he made his money was to be the face / voice of the advertiser, and his rates were less than the station’s production costs because, again, he bought major amounts of time in the studio and passed some of the savings along.

The only problem with him was that he thought he was a lot better at TV and radio than he was, and after a few years he couldn’t get any advertisers to go with him since he had become a laughingstock in the area.

Maybe this is part of Google’s strategy for making money, and unless they use Jess DuBoy (legally changed from DuBois so people would know how to pronounce it), they may have a winner!

Erik Schwartz (user link) says:

Research and ROI

Google makes a fortune online because they can demonstrably show ROI. You spend $N on google and your return is $5xN (or whatever). CPM advertising is a much harder sell than CPC. Not only can radio not directly tie money spent on ads to an increase in revenue, but radio research ad hoc at best, they don’t REALLY know who’s listening.

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