Google Adwords Spill Onto Airwaves

Dennis Faas's picture

Remember the days when Google was synonymous with the phrase "search engine"?

That time has long past -- a result of Google's endeavors into unending lines of new applications. Recently, the company has announced that it will also be expanding into offline media, as it ventures into radio ads.

Google Spokesperson Michael Mayzel said that the company will begin a public test of Google Audio Ads by the end of this year. The service will use the same AdWords system that Google uses in web searches.

For radio advertisers, this means a more customized target; ads will be tailored not only by the traditional modes of demographics and stations, but also by the content of broadcast airplay. (Source:

Google's entry into radio advertising may not come as a complete surprise. The company hinted at such a move in January 2006, when it bought dMarc Broadcasting. The purchase cost the company approximately $1 billion, but it bought them a company that connects radio stations to advertisers via an automated system. (Source:

In April 2006, Google and Clear Channel Radio signed a deal that would introduce AdWords search ads to more than 1,100 new websites. Although this deal did not include any broadcasting, a surge of rumors has recently erupted that suggest Google may purchase up to $1 billion of advertising inventory from Clear Channel.

Other rumors predict Google buying a stake in Clear Channel. Google declined to comment on their future plans. (Source:

To ready the company for the new undertaking, Google has recently been increasing its sales force dramatically. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has also projected that the radio division could grow to include up to 1000 employees, which would increase the company's current workforce by over 10 percent. (Source:

While such success would be a great achievement for the company, critics doubt its feasibility. Google has more than proven its ability to thrive in the online advertising realm, but reviving a declining radio market may be a difficult task.

With the rollout of Google Audio Ads beginning before 2007, it will not be too long before the world has an indication of whether Google magic is more than just a web-based wonder.

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