Search engine goes on air
SAN FRANCISCO — Google and Clear Channel Communications announced a long-term agreement Sunday that will allow the Internet search leader to place advertising for its online customers on more than 675 Clear Channel radio stations.“This radio partnership with Clear Channel is a pretty big statement that Google is in the radio industry to stay and have a big impact,” said Drew Hilles, Google Audio’s national sales director. The agreement will give Google advertisers that had not relied on radio, direct access to Clear Channel’s national distribution system through an easy-to-use interface, Hilles said. It will also allow those customers to target their campaigns, reaching particular audiences in targeted locations at specific times, and to get quick feedback about their campaigns, he said. “This is a true win-win,” John Hogan, chief executive of Clear Channel’s radio division, said in a statement. “Clear Channel Radio gets access to an entirely new group of advertisers within a new and complementary sales channel, and Google adds another option for its existing customers.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The move represents Google’s latest effort to take its online advertising clout to other media. Although the majority of the company’s $10.6 billion in revenue last year came from Internet ads, Google has made previous ventures into print, radio and television advertising. The initial test for Google Print Ads, a Web-based marketplace meant to connect newspapers with advertisers, was launched in November and includes more than 100 advertisers and 70 of the country’s top newspapers. In December, Google started testing a radio advertising service meant to reach hundreds of radio stations nationwide. The company is slowly adding advertisers to the service, though Google didn’t make clear how many advertisers are involved so far, nor did it set a timetable for opening the service to all. With Clear Channel, the nation’s largest radio station owner, on board, Google’s advertisers will be able to access about 1,600 stations though the Audio Ads service, company representatives said. Last month, Google announced a partnership with EchoStar Communications Corp., whose Dish network is the second largest satellite service in the U.S. The alliance was expected to show that the automated formula that runs Google’s successful online advertising network can also work to bring advertisers to a long-established platform such a satellite TV.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more