Google are marching on with moving the Ad Words model into the radio business, and have signed up 675 Clear Channel stations to carry the service.
Some people (myself included) have spoken often about how technology willl enable the disintermediation of radio, and how we need to work out what makes radio unique and start playing to those strengths.
Google Audio Ads has the capability do to the radio industry what LCC (Low Cost Carriers) did for the airline industry. By allowing advertisers to entirely self-provision the airtime, and giving them more or less identical tools that we give our own sales teams, it forces our sales teams to work out what value they bring over and above straight planning and order processing.
I’m fascinated by the thought Google have put into creative commissioning. They’ve built an airtime purchasing tool, sure, but that’s just number crunching. The creative marketplace is what really completes the picture. In fact, if I was a creative writer in a radio station, I’d be signing up for Google Audio Ad Creative Marketplace today.
Here’s why I’m positive about Google Audio Ads:
- It shows that creativity (which adds genuine value) is still valuable even when technology is disrupting the market.
- The Creative Marketplace is a massive opportunity to improve the quality of radio advertising by widening the pool of creative resources, and rewarding creativity.
- It could improve the cost base for radio companies by removing an entire layer of order processors who add no creativity to the business. That means more money for creating content, and less money on back-office systems.
- It allows a whole new group of businesses to become radio advertisers. This is offering a “long-tail” like solution for small, probably web-enabled, businesses to use radio.
- Googles own promotional video acknowledges the ubiquity of radio, and that it is complementary to radio listening. There can’t be a greater accolade?
I’m looking forward to seeing Google Audio Ads progress, hopefully get involved somehow, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing which major media-buying agency starts using it first.