How Google Blew It In Radio

Google (GOOG) is finally throwing in the towel on its plan to take over the radio ad sales business.  Jessica Vascellaro of the WSJ takes a close look at how the company blew it.

The story is similar to Google’s failed plans for newspaper ads and its failing plan for TV ads: The competencies that make Google great in search don’t work in traditional media, and ad agencies and media buying shops don’t want to be rendered irrelevant.

And then there was the culture clash, which is neatly summed up by this quote from Eric Schmidt:

“With an enormous data corpus, our computers can do the maths really well,” he said. “But in the audio case, there wasn’t a good signal back to us about which ads performed.”

Can you imagine a radio-station GM saying that?

In any event, that’s another next-great-revenue-engine-that’s-going-to-drive-the-next-wave-of-Google’s-growth gone.  Which leaves:

  • Video (still swinging and missing)
  • Mobile (still tiny)
  • Display (plenty of potential, but mostly if Google deigns to put ads on its own pages–because otherwise it only retains a small portion of the profit.)

Here’s Jessica’s story >

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