Not long after Google decided to shut down its Print Ads program it has decided to close Radio Ads. According to a Google Blog posting:
In 2006, we launched Google Audio Ads and Google Radio Automation to create a new revenue stream for broadcast radio, produce more relevant advertising for listeners and streamline the buying and selling of radio ads. While we’ve devoted substantial resources to developing these products and learned a lot along the way, we haven’t had the impact we hoped for.
So we have decided to exit the broadcast radio business and focus our efforts in online streaming audio. We will phase out the existing Google Audio Ads and AdSense for Audio products and plan to sell the Google Radio Automation business, the software that automates broadcast radio programming.
Three years ago Google paid over $100 million for dMarc Broadcasting (against a potential price of more than $1 billion), which formed the basis for its Radio Ads program. The founders of dMarc left about a year later.
When Google shuttered Print Ads I asked the company whether this suggested Radio Ads were next. They said no at the time. However, the economics (read: lack of demand) for radio advertising perhaps forced the company’s hand. Gone will be the free tracking numbers, in all likelihood, that Google gave out with Radio Ads.
Google appears to be committed to TV Ads, which are higher profile and seem to be doing better than Print or Radio.
This move effectively marks the end of the notion of Google as a cross-platform media buying tool that includes a range of traditional and online ad types. (The significance of this for Google is considerable.)