Google Advertising on Traditional Radio

It’s not really a surprise, but Google is nicely expanding it’s core product away from search engine to advertising, and it’s recent purchase of DoubleClick, along with today’s announced deal with the radio conglomerate Clear Channel, it should be obvious to everyone.

Google Adsense on the radio… AudioSense anyone?

…the partnership with Clear Channel represents a step forward for Google. The deal will run for several years, and will give Google access to just under 5 percent of Clear Channel’s commercial time. That will include 30-second spots on all of Clear Channel’s 675 stations during all programs and all times of the day, executives at both companies said in interviews yesterday.

Google has already signed on to sell ads for 800 stations nationwide, but they tend to be in smaller markets, said Tim Armstrong, Google’s president for North American advertising and commerce.

Google’s chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, said last year that he planned to eventually have 1,000 employees working in the company’s radio unit. Google paid as much as $1.24 billion to acquire dMarc Broadcasting early last year, and used that company’s systems to expand its AdSense for Audio sales system to include radio capabilities. Advertisers log on to the AdSense Web site, choose what type of ad they want and submit their bids.

Link: The New York Times

Like any good business, small steps are driving this forward – and each step is always easily justified. At some point, once the traditional radio outlets are understood, you will see Google have the AdSense Audio program come into play, and while it’s going to be able to monetise podcasting, It’s not going to change the podcasting landscape to a great extent, nor allow more people to give up their day job.

What it will do is allow around 20% (gut feeling numbers) of podcasters to generate a decent level of pocket money (circa $200 a month), and allow a very small percentage of solo podcasters at the very high end of the bell curve to earn a living solely from their podcast. Of course those are the people that currently could do that in any case (and are most probably doing so). It’s not going to be a magic wand to lift up the chances of anyone, all it does is make the content maker and advertiser relationship to be made that much easier. Given that this is where I think most ‘serious’ podcasters lack the skils, thats the difference Google’s AudioSense will make.

Who will see the difference is the up and coming networks of podcast and video content (yes, such as The Podcast Network, but also Podtech, The Conversations Network, AmigoFish and others), in much the same way that AdSense boosts young blog networks now. Once you get to a certain level, then you move away from the generic ‘AdSense’ and make the move to running your own advertising department (or possibly use a service such as Federated Media as an intermediate step before running your own). But through all this, Google has a massive Long Tail in the $200/month podcasts, with a few jewels of networks, and a lot of happy shareholders.

And then they’ll do the same thing with tv, video and videocasting. After that…

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