Google is steadily breaking down resistance in the only media in which it has only a minor presence: TV. At UBS’s Global Media Conference, Google president of advertising Tim Armstrong said Google TV is actively looking to expand inventory beyond EchoStar’s Dish Network; he described a recent well-attended “advertiser day” at Google for TV and agency execs. “They are at a point now where they believe more measurement is actually good,” he said.
Also speaking at the conference was Google director of business product management Nick Fox, who said that while Google would feel the effects of an advertising downturn, it would hurt Google’s core business less than most. “When the mortgage business went down–yeah, we saw some weakness, but then we also saw search terms like ‘foreclosure’ and ‘california foreclosures’ spiked in traffic,” Fox said.
More notes from Google’s Armstrong and Fox after the jump.
10:00: Fox on growth potential within current keyword ad business: “Our ads are the most relevant ads out there, but they aren’t as good as our search results. We see room for growth on the click rate dimension. We make decisions at Google to show substantially fewer ads than we have ads to show because they don’t meet our quality guidelines.”
9:58: Fox on Google’s ability to expand its ad business: “All signs point to the fact we are growing our share of the search market. Users are using search more to do commercial things and we are seeing strong query growth, a driver of revenue.”
9:49: Tim Armstrong on the TV networks: “they are at a point now where they believe more measurement is actually good. Some say we have this other fantastic programming, not on major channels, that is really good but not measured. It’s a long tail of products to the network.”
9:40: From the Q&A: Question about Google’s vulnerability to ad recession. Answer from Nick Fox: less than most. “When mortgage business went down–yeah, we saw some weakness, but then we also saw search terms like ‘foreclosure’ and ‘california foreclosures’ spiked in traffic.”
9:38: On DoubleClick: Armstrong says it was a “build vs buy decision” to acquire it. DoubleClick will expand the number and type of ads Google can serve across its network. But why not just partner with them? Armstrong says Google wanted complete control over contact with end users. He said company couldn’t afford to outsource that.
Armstrong on the acquisition: “We think the deal should close–our competitors have been able to close their deals and they’re not exactly small players.”
9:33: Old model: Big advertisers bought big media. New model: Big advertisers buy everything. Armstrong singles out GM, which, he says, could buy 100k to 200k media properties globally, each optimised to reach a particular niche audience.
9:30: Google isn’t a threat to the creative and product end of the ad agency, Armstrong says, but it is challenging the traditional media planning and buying that takes place within them.
9:28: Armstrong is talking about a number of new initiatives to measure the effectiveness of ads. Among them: attempting to measure effectiveness of magazine ads by including contact data and RFID code within the ads.
9:18: Says will take Google 3-5 years to become a force in traditional TV advertising. Good inventory now in radio and publishing, but only one inventory source in TV: EchoStar’s Dish Network.
9:22: Armstrong thinks Google’s first opportunity in TV is to spread some of the advertising spend across small, niche networks, where audiences are small, but often devoted, and ad rates vary widely. Also: an opportunity to use minute-by-minute set-top data, combined with Ads Quality, to improve the performance of commercial spots on TV.
9:17: Now Armstrong picks it up by talking about Google’s Digital Dashboard. He says company is working on scaling that to allow large advertisers to manage campaigns for as many as 10,000 ads for products, appropriately targeted.
9:13: More Fox: “The things we announce publicly tend to be things our advertisers will notice. We try to help … What are the set of changes we can help our advertisers by communicating?”
9:08: Nick Fox kicks it off, talking about two Google operations units: Revenue Force and Ads Quality. Revenue Force, he says, tracks sources of Google revenue on a minute-by-minute basis. A series or alerts goes off if revenue departs from a set of pre-determined models. Ads Quality seeks to raise the quality of the ads and thus the revenue generated by them.
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