Google Audio Ads Have Yet To Take Off

| About: Alphabet Inc. (GOOG)

After Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquired dMarc in January last year, it was hoped that its AdWords customers in US would shortly have an option to place audio ads across prominent radio stations.

dMarc is a California based company that facilitates advertisers to directly connect radio stations through its automated advertising platform.

dMarc’s addition to Google’s formidable arsenal of ad distributors over multiple platforms was hailed as another step by the search giant toward “exploring new ways to extend targeted, measurable advertising to other forms of media”, thereby integrating “dMarc technology into the Google AdWords platform, creating a new radio ad distribution channel for Google advertisers.”

A year and a half down the line and not much seems to have happened. As of now Google is hunting for advertisers to opt for audio ads. At the end of March it announced a credit of $400 to AdWords advertisers for opting for a radio campaign before April 30.

That deadline has now been extended till June 30, which perhaps explains an apparent reluctance on behalf of their AdWords customers to dip toes in untested waters before others do.

Meanwhile, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has embarked on a mega deal by agreeing to pay an astronomical $6 billion, its highest ever, to buy aQuantive (AQNT). Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick (the deal is yet to close), Yahoo’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) Right Media, and WPP’s (NASDAQ:WPPGY) 24/7 Real Media (TFSM) indicate that the online advertising space is going to see fierce clamor for filling up portfolio gaps in the online advertising arsenals of new media giants.

Google entered the Audio Ads race early on, but it doesn’t look like the Audio Ad market has quite started gaining its stride.

Yahoo does offer rich media solutions to its advertisers including audio ads that run within Yahoo Music. But Google’s attempt of offering audio ads to be broadcast through radio stations is still one up over its rivals and is the effort to watch to gauge market adoption.

One may safely presume that all eyes are firmly on how Google’s radio ads offering shapes up in the future. Google announced in April that it plans to begin selling advertising on more than 675 radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc. (NYSE:CCU), in a move designed to add scale to the Internet giant’s offline ad-brokering efforts and boost Clear Channel’s revenue. Looks like there are no takers for the ads, though!

Google’s attempt at print ads does not seem to have clicked thus far. Does the same fate await its radio ads too?