Google has decided to pull the plug on Google Radio Ads, a product which allowed AdWords advertisers to promote their business across the radio using the AdWords interface. Google have shutdown the service after it didn’t have the impact they hoped for.
Google Radio Ads were soft launched back in 2006 as a test by Google to streamline the process of buying radio ads for advertisers. Users simply used their AdWords interface to purchase radio spots, in a similar manner to Google TV ad distribution.
The shutdown means Google will be selling their Radio Automation business, the software which automates broadcast radio programming. It also means that around 40 Google staff will no longer be working for the company.
Rather than exiting Audio Ads all together, Google have said they will focus their efforts in online streaming audio. Google’s Susan Wojcicki explains:
Instead we will use our technology to develop Internet-based solutions that will deliver relevant ads for online streaming audio. We are dedicating a team of people at Google to explore how we can best add value for advertisers, broadcasters and listeners in this emerging advertising space. In addition, we will continue to invest in our growing TV advertising business, where we can measure audience response and help advertisers understand how effective their ads are.
The radio ads closure comes after Google recently shut down their Newspaper advertising division and before that, a number of other products/services too. As with the other changes, I think this is Google’s way of bracing for the economic slowdown and attempting to focus on their core products.