Why Google's radio play is an improvement

I’ve been skeptically bored by Google’s dabbling in brokering print advertising. There are too many reasons why it seemed like a poor fit. The lead times on print are excruciatingly long by Twenty-first Century standards, publishers hate brokered advertising, publishers who don’t have enough ads can print a smaller product to maintain their ad/edit ratio, and most publishers don’t want advertisers to know what a small percentage of the rate card most of their competitors are paying. Ad rates could collapse like a house of cards if they were exposed the way that Google exposes its own rates.
Radio (and TV) advertising presents few of these problems. The biggest advantage to Google-style ad sales for broadcasters is that a minute of airtime that goes unmonetized will never be monetized. That’s why unsold airtime is already brokered. This will be a watershed year in local advertising for Google, Yahoo, MSN, and host of smaller players. Broadcasters are an important element in local advertising. And, while publishers are still handcrafting their products, broadcasting is an increasingly automated business.
There are a million ways in which Google could fail. But the upside, both in inherent potential and in the potential to outflank their competitors, is enormous. That’s reflected in the way the deal is structured, with a billion dollar payoff for dMarc if they pull it off.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.