At long last, Google radio is live. Actually, it's not called Google radio -- it's Google Audio, a better fit with its any-platform sort of approach to the medium.
Using Google Audio, advertisers can target their buys by location, station type, day of the week and time of day and online verification will tell advertisers exactly when those ads ran.
For the past year Google has been integrating the dMarc ad platform into its AdWords system and recently has begun to beta test its ad auction and insertion platform with a small group of AdWords clients, according to a post on the company's corporate blog. The test involves both terrestrial and satellite stations around the U.S., including some from major radio companies such as Emmis and XM Satellite Radio. Google said there are currently "hundreds of stations" involved but that it's looking to increase that number.
Google didn't say when it would open the gates to its radio ad system, but a key for it to convince the radio industry of its merits will be proving that it is bringing incremental advertisers to radio, not simply converting existing advertisers to an auction-based model.
The blog post acknowledged this, saying broadcast partners are "looking forward to making their ad inventories available to thousands of new advertisers, especially since they aren't easily accessible today."
That mirrors the thinking surrounding Google's three-month trial of its Print Ads system, launched last month, where more than 100 advertisers could bid for ad space in more than 50 daily newspapers, from The New York Times to Gannett Co. titles. As Tom Phillips, Google's director of Print Ads since March and, once upon a time, a co-founder of Spy magazine, told Ad Age at the trial's launch: "For publishers it's a way to get to a whole new universe of advertisers, which we will bring to the party and get to them without a lot of expense."