Google hasn’t made many billion-dollar bets, except for the recent one on AOL (which was more of a hedge) so the deal announced for dMarc Broadcasting is notable if only for the potential price tag. Up front costs are only $100-million, but the potential outlay for Google if certain performance targets are met is $1.1-billion over three years (eBay’s acquistion of Skype has similar terms).
Although Google has been reaching its tendrils into “offline” for a little while now, including a deal to run ads for its AdSense partners in print publications, I think it’s safe to say that for many people, saying the word Google does not make one instinctively think “radio.” After all, how do you click an ad that’s on the radio? Mark Evans says he finds the deal a little odd. However, Henry Blodget — the former Merrill Lynch brokerage analyst — says he thinks this could be the beginning of a big business for Google: namely, replacing big ad-buying agencies who place ads in all kinds of media.
Search Engine Roundtable says if we have AdWords and AdPrint, and now AdRadio, it’s likely only a matter of time before we get AdTV, and Google starts running ads on television. And Danny Sullivan says any dispute about whether Google is a media company or not can be put to rest. Ross Rader of Tucows seems to agree, while Eric Schoenfeld of the Business 2.0 blog says there is potential for serving ads based on tracking your digital radio listening habits. As usual, Good Morning Silicon Valley has a great headline: “Sorry officer — the last thing I remember is trying to click on an interactive radio ad.”
Staci over at PaidContent points to a comment by a reader who has some expertise in the radio advertising business, and doesn’t see how Google is going to make much headway in the industry.