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Google Radio Ads Experiencing Early Troubles

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the try-to-avoid-the-random-porn-ads-during-drive-time dept.

Google 41

An anonymous reader writes "Google's tech-heavy solution to advertising has worked wonders on the internet, and made it a friend to bloggers everywhere. The low-tech nature of traditional radio, though, has caused some conflicts with Google's radio ad service. The impersonal nature of online ads are very different than the one-on-one personalized service that radio advertising normally uses. While Google ads are running on some 700 radio stations, that's a very small part of the market. They are committed to improving, but onlookers think it will take a change in pitch. 'Whether Google can succeed in radio "is questionable, because you do need relationships with radio stations to give you something of value. If you don't have radio-focused personnel...you'll get the low-hanging fruit but may not be able to grow the market," said Maribeth Papuga, senior vice president and director of radio buying for Media Vest, a part of ad firm Publicis Groupe. "Their challenge is going to be having a broad enough list of markets and stations to make it a viable enough player on a national scale."'"

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Google may be Big Brother (2, Informative)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048584)

Considering the fact that Google invaded North Carolina for a data center employing ~200 folks and gets to escape property taxes and other state taxes for up to thirty years...they seem to be on a pretty sound business model. I can't imagine their radio business will fail considering the effectiveness of their other efforts. All it takes is money and they have plenty of that.

"In January, Google announced it would build the computer center and bring up to 210 jobs in four years to Lenoir, a community 70 miles northwest of Charlotte hurting from the collapse of its furniture industry. In exchange, Caldwell and state officials approved incentives that could be worth more than $260 million over 30 years."

This from the Charlotte Observer...don't know if you may need to register... http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16 711064.htm [charlotte.com] .

Incredible, 200 jobs gets them incentives worth $260 million over 30 years? Hell, they even got the elected county officials out there to help buy up the properties for their data center. The whole thing stinks on way too many levels. I guess I can rule out getting a job with them. :)

Re:Google may be Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18048832)

$260 million over 30 years, with 210 jobs means each job created is valued at creating at least $41,269 per year for the states economy. If the employees are making twice that, it it attracts other companies to the area, plus you factor in the value for the local economy having the data centre there provides, it most likely makes very very good financial sense.

Unfortunately, the same politicians who can see the financial sense of the a single lump investment can't see the financial benefit to making it easier for people to start small businesses. A state can generate way more than $260 million in value from only 500 small businesses starting there, so the sensible thing would be to make it easier for them to start. For example, make it so businesses with less than $1 million in revenue don't need to collect sales tax, and/or so business owners we earn less than $50,000 don't have to pay income tax. Things like that would make it way easier to start a business. I can personally tell you from experience, making a hard year while getting a business off the ground, one can easily make less than minimum wage, and then being hit by income taxes at the end of the year is downright brutal. That experience certainly encourages me to recommend to others, despite the upsides of starting a business, not to.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (2, Informative)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048910)

"$260 million over 30 years, with 210 jobs means each job created is valued at creating at least $41,269 per year for the states economy. If the employees are making twice that, it it attracts other companies to the area, plus you factor in the value for the local economy having the data centre there provides, it most likely makes very very good financial sense."

You obviously don't know the area. There is NOTHING left. The furniture and textile plants are all gone. I can guarantee that Google won't be paying $80,000 to folks who monitor climate control or even servers. You won't get a job in Charlotte (70 miles away!), a MUCH bigger market, for $80 grand without taking on significant management or other duties. Sys admins, programmers, and other tech folks are a dime a dozen with Bank of America and Wachovia farming functionality out overseas. Especially now, Bank of America just dumped a couple of hundred folks (contract and regular employees) in the last couple of months. Maybe the construction folks in this very rural community get an initial burst in building the data center, MAYBE the local HVAC folks get a new contract. However, there is no long term benefit to the locals in any way whatsoever.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049464)

Unfortunately, the same politicians who can see the financial sense of the a single lump investment can't see the financial benefit to making it easier for people to start small businesses

They probably can see it. The problem is that it does not look as good. The big investments get the media interested, and therefore help win votes.

This is a global problem. Plenty of politicians will talk about then importance of small businesses (it is undeniable), but dangle a high profile investment in front of them, and they will do anything.

At least the US and Europe are better than some Asian countries which formalise tax breaks for big, especially foreign investment - "invest more than x and get tax breaks, small businesses can forget it".

Google may be Big Brother (1)

nithinraju (1047686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049070)

The big news last night came by way of the AdWords Blog [wordpress.com] about Google making two big changes. As I explained in great detail over at Search Engine Land, the two changes have to do with "transparency" and "a new quality algorithm." In terms of the transparency, Google will be adding a quality score column, that includes a minimum bid CPC for all advertisers today or tomorrow.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049122)

Any corporation with a name can do that in this state. All you hafta do is find a county that's empty and poor due to textiles leaving, and you'll be welcomed with open arms.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049204)

Sounds about right to me.

$260,000,000 / 30 years = $8,666,666/year

$8,666,666/year / 200 jobs = $43,333/person/year.

If the average salary is 43k per year for those jobs then its a win for the local economy. And its actually better than that with the multiplier effect. [wikipedia.org]

Any economist care to check me on that? I think its right given my HS and University micro and macro economics courses.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051038)

Well, you have to assume that their presence is strictly beneficial; if they pump raw sewage into the streets or something, the cost is going to be larger.

Two other things: for the government(not the area) to net the $260,000,000 that they are not getting, Google's presence would likely have to inject much more. Also, your calculations would depend on the average salary being more than 43,333 per year(even by $1).

The good news is that the government groups are actually doing the following comparison: (Net benefits of having Google installation: some fairly large value) > (Net benefits of not having Google installation: some low value).

This is why the op's notion that it stinks is a bit silly.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18051484)

Unless Google is hiring a bunch of ancillary personnel, most of the positions they will be filling generally start at $45k per year even in low cost of living areas. Add to that the temporary jobs that will be created for setting up their location(s) or construction if they are building new facilities. It may look like Google is cleaning up to OP, but the truth is that the hosting city will get far more benefit out of that deal, AKA a win/win.

Re:Google may be Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18055810)

I think its right given my HS and University micro and macro economics courses.

Or instead of burying your head in books and theories, you can look at the actual evidence that's there now.

I'm sure both the government and the economists thought it was a great idea to lure the weavers and carpenters there back in their day. If they can't convince other companies to show up for reasons other than "Google's here," then when Google moves on, your "multiplier effect" will be a big fat x0. They would have done better by looking into promoting their town as a retirement home, which would have let the young and useful sell their homes and flee to better places, then letting the community die off with the retirees.

At least Google gets a free ride [wikipedia.org] .

math.com (1)

Sockninja (835941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049780)

260 million over 30 over 210 equals about 41k. sooooo.. yeah...

Re:Google may be Big Brother (tax red herring) (2, Informative)

oski4410 (1065340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052562)

I think you bought the CO's story a bit too quickly. The real story goes something like this: under the standard tax rules, if Google invested $600M or so in NC they would pay $300M (!) in taxes. They got a $250M rebate so now they pay $50M. You didn't see similar stories about their Oregon datacenter because most of the taxes that were discounted in NC don't exist to begin with in OR. For example, in NC you have to pay (as a company) something called "personal property tax", plus there's sales tax, and in OR neither of these exist. Disclaimer: I'm neither a lawyer nor a tax accountant, but I know one ;-)

Businesses shouldn't pay taxes (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18076530)

Businesses should not be forced to pay taxes because it only increases their overhead. An increased overhead means that their product costs more. This is why it is often said that businesses don't pay taxes, but merely collect them.

i think... (2, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048588)

The impersonal nature of online ads are very different than the one-on-one personalized service that radio advertising normally uses.

Don't you have that backwards?

Re:i think... (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048644)

That was the first thing I thought as well. I had to read it a couple of times to be sure I was reading it correctly. It is backwards.

Re:i think... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050606)

"That was the first thing I thought as well. I had to read it a couple of times to be sure I was reading it correctly. It is backwards."

... but its not backwards in the Soviet Googleplex ... where ads personalize YOU.

Re:i think... (1)

Wicked Zen (1006745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048706)

How is it backwards? When you advertise with radio you do in fact typically work personally with an ad agent.

Re:i think... (4, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048744)

"The impersonal nature of online ads are very different than the one-on-one personalized service that radio advertising normally uses."

Don't you have that backwards?


IANAP, but I don't think so.

With online ads, you see static text that says something. You read it silently and interpret it's logical meaning. 5 seconds and you're done.

With radio ads, you are listening to a person's voice for 30 seconds to a minute. You hear the inflections and emotional state of the voice. Years of conversing with people have taught you to pick up subtle hints of honesty, deceit, confidence, etc. In addition to hearing what is verbally said and deducing it's practical meaning, you are consciously and subconsciously analyzing the voice and it's message.

Yeah, that might be over the top a bit, but I think it has merit. Online vs radio ads are like 1-D compared to 2-D. Going from radio to television is like going to 3-D. Now you not only have voice, but images as well. Think about how things changed with the Nixon/Kennedy debates that were televised for the first time after being on the radio for years.

Re:i think... (2, Insightful)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049504)

Read the whole quote: "one on one personalized service"

Perhaps you're looking for the word "personable" not "personal". Hearing a voice on the radio could be considered personable, but there's definitely nothing "one on one" or "personal" about it.

Re:i think... (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18058986)

"Hearing a voice on the radio could be considered personable, but there's definitely nothing "one on one" or "personal" about it."

You're just saying that because you never heard any of the spots I used to cut. :-)

Re:i think... (1)

kerm1t (1065370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053360)

tv and radio are both passive while the internet is active. tv and radio ads are impersonal because they don't know to whom they are advertising. the internet (search advertising) is different in that users are actively searching for something. relevant ad-content is shown along side non-ad-content. the internet is personal because ads are relevant to what the user seeks...

you have a good point about tv and radio perhaps being more powerful media because of the more human interaction, but in these media viewers/listeners have no utility for the ad-content--only for non-ad-content. no one sits down to watch ads (save maybe during the super bowl). as such viewers have trained themselves to ignore ads (or not watch them at all--tivo). while advertisers have gotten trickier, the fact remains that the ads are unwanted by the majority of tv/radio consumers.

Shotgun Marketing (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053802)

I don't care how sweet she sounds, I'm not buying Ensure, even if they play a personable ad for 60 seconds.

I do buy stuff off of Google ads when I'm looking for products because it's stuff I actually want to buy.

So why is Google into radio ads again? Broadcast is antithetical to their experience.

Re:i think... (1)

vandoravp (709954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048862)

It's backwards in that the online ads are very targeted and may have more personal relevance than the radio ads. But, as the others have said, radio ads have someone talking to you, making the connection between the ad and the user (at least seemingly) more personal - nmb3000's analogy of dimensions describes it well.

Re:i think... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051092)

The old standby that the viewer/listener is the product is the answer here.

As another reply said, when you buy advertising time from a radio station, you work with a person, when you buy advertising space on the internet, you click around a web site.

Where the boys are. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18048680)

"Their challenge is going to be having a broad enough list of markets and stations to make it a viable enough player on a national scale."

Can you say college towns? I knew you could.

Probable solution (2, Insightful)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048708)

If you don't have radio-focused personnel...you'll get the low-hanging fruit but may not be able to grow the market

So, given what we know about Google, they will just buy/hire some radio-focused personnel. Its not as if they don't have the resources!

in related news (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048714)

microsoft gets in the sewing machine business

youtube gets in the pinball machine business

myspace gets in the newspaper business

seriously, what genius at google thought radio adverts were a perfect fit for that company?

Re:in related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18048802)

Presumably, a genius in the advertising department.

radio is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18048766)

Old fashioned terrestrial radio is dead. Long live Satelite radio!

Can we blame (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048772)

this Mark Cuban guy?

mod HuP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18048794)

Where it was when share, this news as those non gyay, ABOUT HALF OF THE would take about 2 declined in market to look into represents the

play the game (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18048900)

"because you do need relationships with radio stations to give you something of value. If you don't have radio-focused personnel...you'll get the low-hanging fruit"

Why don't they just say Google needs to play the payola game. That's how radio has always worked.

who gives a shit about radio anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18049004)

Because I have a Sirius Radio, I haven't listened to a terrestrial radio station in over 2 years, before that I listened to CDs instead of radio in my car. In my home its music oggs, sirius, internet radio or CDs. There must be three or four dozen radio stations in town, but they all are worthless. Radio wave broadcasting is a dead industry.

Re:who gives a shit about radio anyway (2, Insightful)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051244)

There must be three or four dozen radio stations in town, but they all are worthless. Radio wave broadcasting is a dead industry.

Agreed, the radio industry is dead, the music industry is dying, but one of the most beloved and influential radio stations in Seattle is KNHC, or "C89.5", a non-profit high school 24/7 voc ed program with listeners worldwide. And some people (/me clears throat) have to use classic radio at work because their workplace rules prohibit streaming audio.

fp Fuck3r?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18049288)

with p`rocess and neEds OS. Now BSDI

Er... (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18049900)

...The impersonal nature of online ads are very different than the one-on-one personalized service that radio advertising normally uses....


Isn't that completely the wrong way round? The whole point of Google's online ads are that they're personalised on a per-user basis, while radio ads have to use the "shotgun effect". :-/

Frist 57op (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18050840)

according tothis was what got me copy a 17 Meg file has bben my only

Someone has to say it... (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051360)

Radio is a dead medium. When was the last time you listened to the radio in your car, other than to be a host for your iPod? And when you did, did you leave the fscking commercials on? I think not. Let's review the list of places to listen to audio based entertainment in order of popularity and/or relevance:

1) MP3s and other compressed digital audio, iPod
2) Satellite Radio/Cable digital audio channels. and with no commercials!
3) low-power, local FM radio broadcast for iPod to connect to ancient stereo
4) CDs. hey they still sell them, don't they?
5) Magnetic tape. DAT/Cassette
6) Paper tape
7) Vinyl Albums
8) Sounds from the ass of a dead bear when it's carcass begins to out-gas from excessive bloating
9) Commercial Broadcast Radio

Re:Someone has to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052288)

"Radio is a dead medium."
What, like the floppy disks people are still carrying around? (Yes, between a college helpdesk and a small-town computer repair business, I have seen a LOT of them in the past 3 years.)

"When was the last time you listened to the radio in your car, other than to be a host for your iPod?"
Yesterday. And that's because I haven't left the house yet today, thanks to snow.

"And when you did, did you leave the fscking commercials on?"
Yes.

Listen, not everyone is a whacked-out technophile who needs the latest gadgets and drops the old stuff as soon as something better comes along. Many people live on budgets that don't support that kind of lifestyle, even if they do want it. I personally stumbled across a really great radio station that plays an incredible variety of mostly my favorite music. And they have a bigger music library than I do, so why not listen to them? If I really like 80% or more of what I'm hearing on the radio, do you think I care so much about the 20% that I'm going to stop listening to the radio, or even complain about it?

radio (1)

goobenet (756437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052502)

I run a few radio stations using the "google" automation system. Here's how it worked out... Scott Studios was purchased by dMarc broadcasting a few years back, which was an Up-and-coming conglomerate. They had quite the national ad base. Then google purchased dMarc, and thus the RevenueSuite system was born. Stations pay for the computers by playing ads from google on the air. After the computers are paid off (about 24 months later) the station can opt to keep in the RevenueSuite system and just get cash for unsold commercial inventory. It's rather cool actually, and may keep terrestrial radio alive, for a few more years anyways.

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