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Google Sees Papers As Next Step For Ads

By: David Utter

Google wants to give an advertiser the option to have ads appear online, on radio, in video, probably on TV soon, and in newsprint. Should they succeed, Google will be a one-stop shop for marketers everywhere.

Google Sees Papers As Next Step For AdsGoogle (GOOG) has been testing the sale of remnant ads in Chicago in the Sun-Times, filling ad space that did not receive demand from advertisers. That test has now been expanded to 50 newspapers.

The New York Times carried news of Google's latest adventure in print. The company has also tested placing ads in a couple of tech magazines, and tried to auction off space it had purchased in several other publications, but with minimal success.

That report noted how, if it succeeds in delivering profits to participating publishers like Gannett, Tribune, Hearst, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, those companies will be strengthened. But Google will gain even more, just as it has at the expense of those same publishers who have been hammered by relatively inexpensive, highly measurable web advertising.

Google built a $145 billion market cap on the strength of those online ads. Even companies like Yahoo and Microsoft that generate less ad revenue than Google still pull in billions. Giving Google access to the old-style printing press may give it even more power in its money-printing ad business.

Both sides should enjoy a boost to their fortunes. Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 wrote how newspapers and Google should see "greater than zero" returns.

Karp also suggested a downside for each of the parties in this arrangement, too:

Google " AdWords is a direct response marketing vehicle, which is why the magazine print ad program failed; if AdWords advertisers dont get a response, i.e. traffic from print newspaper ads, they wont come back for more.

Newspapers " Handing the reigns over to Googles efficient direct response advertising machine will only hasten the realization that the Web is much more efficient than print at driving action and response.

John Battelle has an optimistic take on the deal. "I can see this working well for remnant/backfill, as well as classifieds, where I'm guessing the system will really excel," he wrote on his blog.


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