We asked for agencies to give an opinion on Google leaving radio (see radio news).
Charlie Rutman, MPG CEO: “Google tried with two media forms that are under siege…newspapers (which as been well documented) and radio. In the case of radio there are so many external forces–emergence of other audio options (iPods, cell phones, streaming audio, etc). There is also a lot of pressure on the advertising front from their key categories–auto dealerships, retail and banking. So, in retrospect, maybe these were the wrong forms to start with. But Google is still a force to be reckoned with and the real question that has yet to be answered is what did Google learn from these experiences and how will they apply that learning? I would not underestimate Google.”
Kim Vasey, Mediaedge:cia Senior Partner / Director of Radio:
“To some degree – it doesn’t surprise me. In my opinion – it never really was a viable platform for the day to day transactional agency business. It was fine for some direct response business and for achieving national mass gross impressions at low ‘out of pocket’ costs. You have to give them credit for trying.”
Matthew D. Warnecke, MediaCom Partner, Group Director Network Radio, Network Broadcast:
“Well, this news confirms what has been the reality of the Local Radio Marketplace for some time. Namely, just when you thought Spot placement couldn’t get any more last minute, it does. We need a new phrase for "the eleventh hour."
Since that’s the case, why would an agency give away "real" schedules (already delivering the last-minute values of the Spot marketplace) to a third party to purchase–even one that appears a reputable as GOOGLE?
MediaCom buying units–both national and local–have proven over the recent past that they can (and must) be nimble in entering, negotiating, and maneuvering within the media marketplace. We’re always looking for reach at a great value and will continue to offer our clients that and more.”
Kathy Crawford, Project Reinvention member and former MindShare President/Local Broadcast:
“This is certainly not a surprising turn as remnant inventory from a client standpoint was never a must buy”.
To some degree – it doesn’t surprise me. In my opinion – it never really was a viable platform for the day to day transactional agency business. It was fine for some direct response business and for achieving national mass gross impresssions at low ‘out of pocket’ costs. You have to give them credit for trying.
Matt Feinberg, President, Matt Feinberg Media:
"It’s unfortunate, but I can understand Google’s decision. I think most of the industry agreed that their original sales model was a tough sell, however, I felt they were getting closer with Google 2.0 radio. It will be interesting to see how the approach the in-stream audio ad space. It is a natural extension of the terrestrial radio platform for over-the-air broadcasters, but very few have really capitalized on it in a big way as of yet. There is still a lot of room to grow that business so maybe that’s where Google makes its audio mark."
Rich Russo, JL Media’s SVP/Director of Broadcast Services:
“Well, it’s was inevitable, it was tough for them to get this off the ground and with the ecomony etc, Google is much better off doing the digital thing. I’ve always felt this would be a tough thing for them and they did hire some good radio people to try to make it work. I guess if they wanted to really make this work they should’ve or could’ve bought a major radio group or a network and control all of the inventory as well as their websites and basically use any unsold inventory to drive people to their site. Who knows with Radio stocks where they are, maybe they’ll circle the wagons and buy something big and do just that….”
Natalie Swed Stone, US Director, National Radio Investment, OMD:
"Google has changed the radio business for the better by demonstrating what is possible in technology, accountability, reporting, and optimization. We will hold their performance in this area as the gold standard and challenge other companies to get up to speed quickly."