Posted December 8, 2006 10:42 am by with 12 comments

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About twenty advertisers are taking part in a new beta test of Google Audio Ads, ClickZ writes.

The advertisers are uploading 30-second radio ads, in MP3 format, which will air on around 700 radio stations.


Google Audio Ads are sold on a CPM basis through the AdWords platform, and advertisers can target on factors like geographical market and time of day. Reporting functions disclose which stations ran ads and when, and real-time air checks are available, a bit of a novelty for interactive marketers who have grown used to not seeing their non-search executions.

It’s somewhat interesting that the ads will be on a CPM and not CPA (cost per action) model. I thought Google’s plans were to shake-up the advertising industry by bringing their AdWords model to other channels. Instead, a CPM model suggests that Google’s not confident they can make money on a CPA basis on anything other than search.

  • This sounds like it would be a interesting way to add to an awareness segment of a campaign we might run to promote our newest survey software product launch but I can’t seem to find any information on when this would be rolled out to the little guys… Certain things are never really that effective when it comes down to pure ROI like radio … BUT a mix of awareness activities (Tradeshows, print ads, radio) combined with more trackable marketing spend (anything online) combined with objective third party reviews made easily available has always been the way I’ve tried to get the word out. So, this is interesting, but in my opinion, Google should stick with online forms of advertising that are known for their trackability and hone in on the click fraud and other issues people have been having, instead of “going wide” into other areas of ads like their failed newspaper attempt and what could be a failed radio attempt. By abandoning their core strength, they will start to compete with essentially everyone – until everyone comes together to bring them down.

  • Just today ( 3-15-07 ) I spoke with a rep at Google Audio Ads and went through a very convincing WebEx presentation. All in all, it looks like Google has a growing interest by many stations in the smaller markets and as money hungry as Clear Channel is, it is only a matter of time before they or another large player comes onboard.

    I was told before the meeting today that I would be “very surprised” at the cost of audio advertising program through Google, implying that the cost was a great deal more affordable that traditional radio schedules. Surprised I was! They wanted $20K to do a 4 week run.

    Now, I am not suggesting that the ad cost per unit is inflated as they run the spots based on a CPM reach. However, I do know that I can run a 4 week radio campaign at a real radio station in a major market at significantly less than 20K.

    Now there are many variables between their offering and any radio stations offerings and I am not really comparing apples to apples as the differences that get you to the end result are significant. However, as far as cost is concerned, Google’s audio ads are not affordable for the vast majority of those who are currently giving Google money for traffic and in the end that is more likely to be the demise of this excellent opportunity.

  • Terry – thanks for the update, I added your notes to a new post. 😉

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