This is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen in a while: Google is setting up an Adwords-like system to be able to place and track radio ads. It’s called Google Audio Ads.
No, this isn’t online advertising – these are ads placed on terrestrial AM and FM radio stations. Ads are tracked by a callback phone number in the ads itself.
Why would Google undertake something so far outside their core area of expertise? Either it’s incredibly stupid, or really smart.
Perhaps Google thinks it can take over another advertising area, duplicating the success of Adwords and Adsense. Adsense works well for the hosting sites, but in our experience it doesn’t do nearly as well as targeted keyword advertising. Radio ads are usually expensive to run and ineffective unless you have a huge budget.
The other possibility is that they are setting up infrastructure for local advertising of all kinds. Location-based ads are hot in the investment community, and show a lot of promise, so perhaps this is Google’s way of trying to dominate the sector before the other location-based technologies take hold.
Google Audio Ads an interesting development, but don’t be surprised to see it become a total flop.