Google Dropping Radio Ads, Selling Radio Automation Business

Spring has come a little early for Google, as their spring cleaning continues with the dropping of radio ads from AdWords and AdSense announced today, the company announced today.

The dropping of Print Ads last week and search box from Gmail, now this, will Susan Wojcicki, VP of Product Management be having a garage sale?

When the program first launched, Google saw the product as a sound and smart investment.

“Google Audio Ads brings efficiency, accountability, and enhanced ROI to radio advertising by providing advertisers with an online interface for creating and launching radio campaigns. You’ll be able to target your customers by location, station type, day of the week, and time of day. After the radio ads are run, you will be able to view online reports that tell you exactly when your ad played,” Inside AdWords noted.

But three years later that has all changed.

“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. Advertisers will continue to be able to use Google Audio Ads until May 31 and broadcasters will be able to publish inventory to Google until that date as well. We will work with partners to make sure that there is as little disruption to their business as possible and will work to find a buyer for the Google Radio Automation business,” the Traditional Media blog stated.

At least they have given people some notice. I have a friend that just spent some money on developing radio ads to use on the product – has a little over three months to get a return on that investment. Meanwhile Google very subtley added the announcement that 40 employees from that product group would be laid off.

“We regret the impact these plans will have on the Googlers working on these projects. We hope to find other roles for the majority of the people concerned and will work to make that happen over the next couple of months. However, given that we are exiting the broadcast radio ad business and selling the Radio Automation business, we expect that up to 40 people may not be able to find other roles at Google.”

In 2006 Google bought dMarc – the radio automation software company – for $102 million, we will have to see what they get when the divest themselves of it.

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