Google to TV: We Want to Work with You

Addressing a room full of curious broadcasters at the Television Bureau of Advertising’s annual marketing conference in New York Thursday, Google TV Ads director Michael Steib stressed that the Web monolith is eager to work with broadcasters to bring a much wider swath of the ad market onto television.

Google TV Ads -- defined as “an end-to-end digital system for buying, selling, measuring and delivering television ads” on Google’s Web site -- had a trial on a California cable system in 2006 before expanding to Dish Network satellite subscribers last May. It’s now poised to partner with local television.

Steib estimated that 6,000-7,000 national advertisers should be on television but currently are not. “There are not nearly enough people advertising on television today,” he said of marketers who stick with direct mail and Google’s AdSense program, which posts Web ads that target users’ online behavior. “They think TV isn’t for them. We think TV is for them.”

A former NBC Strategic Ventures executive, Steib repeatedly stressed the “granular” nature of Google’s TV strategy: Like Web ads, he said, Google’s television ads could be measured for accountability thanks to data pulled from set-top boxes.

Steib also told the room Google was not there to replace stations’ local sales forces, but to add to it, and that the template for Google’s broadcast-advertising foray was very much not set in stone.

“We’d like to hear more from you,” Steib said as he repeated his e-mail address for attendees and urged them to write.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.