Google Ends Program To Sell Radio Ads
February 12, 2009 at 12:52 PM (PT)
In the second major setback for GOOGLE’s ambitions to expand its advertising business beyond the Internet, the company said THURSDAY that it was ending its program to sell radio ads. THE NEW YORK TIMES reports the program, called GOOGLE AUDIO ADS, which it began in 2006, did not live up to the company’s expectations, and the decision to kill it may result in the layoffs of approximately 40 people, GOOGLE said in a blog post.
The announcement highlights GOOGLE’s continuing efforts to cut costs and focus on fewer projects as its core search advertising business has slowed dramatically in the face of the recession.
"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," wrote VP/Product Management SUSAN WOJCICKI.
WOJCICKI said that GOOGLE would use some of its radio advertising technology to deliver ads on streaming audio programs online. She said that GOOGLE would try to find new roles at the company for most of the people involved in the radio ads program, but added that "we expect that up to 40 people may not be able to find other roles at GOOGLE."
AUDIO ADS is the second offline advertising initiative that GOOGLE has shut down in as many months. In JANUARY, GOOGLE pulled the plug on its PRINT ADS program, which sold advertisements in newspapers.
Another, more ambitious, program to sell ads on television continues for now. WOJCICKI said that GOOGLE would continue to invest in it.
GOOGLE AUDIO ADS has faced challenges since its inception. It began in 2006 when GOOGLE acquired DMARC BROADCASTING. The next year, the DMARC founders left GOOGLE amid culture clashes and a chilly reception to the Internet giant in the radio industry.
Many radio stations feared that GOOGLE would turn their advertising business into a commodity and refused to give the company access to sufficient advertising air time. Google eventually struck deals with larger radio networks like CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, but the program never took off.