Google will stop selling ads on radio in May 2009
. This retreat from radio sales is the latest example of how the recession is forcing Google to more quickly reassess its ambitions to move beyond AdWords and online advertising by entering in traditional forms of media.
The closing of Google Radio could lead to at least 40 layoffs among Google's 20,000 plus workforce. The decision to stop selling radio ads comes less than one month after Google scrapped its efforts to sell newspaper advertising.
Google radio actually began in 2006 along with Google Newspaper and Google TV.
Google said it still intends to sell ads on television.
The Google Blog posted this announcement:
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 Google about a year later.
Hopefully the closure of Google Radio and Google Newspaper will allow Google to return their focus to keyword search and the Google search results pages. Keyword search is by far the most powerful and cost effective advertising medium and deserves the full attention of its Mountain View Industry Leader.
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