Google Scraps Radio Advertising Initiative

Internet search giant Google has abandoned its effort to sell radio ads through its online buying platform, but will continue a similar program for the television industry, Google TV Ads.

Google, which announced the move yesterday in a blog posting by Susan Wojcicki, VP of product management, said it will phase out its existing Google Audio Ads and AdSense for Audio products by May 31 and sell the Google Radio Automation business, which provides software that automates broadcast radio programming. That business originated with Google's 2006 acquisition of radio ad specialist dMarc Broadcasting.

"While we've devoted substantial resources to developing these products and learned a lot along the way, we haven't had the impact we hoped for," wrote Wojcicki, who added that Google will take some of its radio technology and refocus it on sell ads for online streaming audio.

Up to 40 people will be laid off because of the elimination of the radio advertising effort. Last month, Google ended an advertising program for the newspaper industry, Google Print Ads.

Wojcicki indicated that Google will continue its TV Ads program, which is being used by Dish Network and NBC Universal to place TV spots that are sold through Google's online auction platform. Google has worked to integrate its Google TV Ads technology with traditional broadcast traffic systems from vendors Harris and VCI, which are used by local stations.

"We will continue to invest in our growing TV advertising business, where we can measure audience response and help advertisers understand how effective their ads are," wrote Wojcicki.