Google and Clear Channel Radio have signed an agreement extending the company's ad network to include the radio giant's stations around the country. At the same time, Google expanded the capabilities of its Google AdSense for Audio system to work with more radio station purchasing systems.
As part of the multi-year agreement between Google and Clear Channel, Google will be able to sell a guaranteed portion of :30 spot ad inventory on more than 675 of Clear Channel's AM/FM stations, including major markets like Los Angeles and New York.
Michele Clarke, a spokesperson for Clear Channel, said Google will gain access to a large new radio audience, while Clear Channel will be able to sell ad time to a new breed of Internet marketers.
"Google has done an outstanding job of developing advertisers that have not yet used radio advertising, and that makes them attractive to Clear Channel," Clarke said. "These advertisers have grown up in the Internet economy, but haven't yet ventured beyond online. These two companies have come together to make it very easy to reach advertising in radio."
The partnership will also allow Google advertisers to mix offline and online ad campaign elements, said Scott Silverman, strategic partner development manager for audio related partnerships for Google.
"The partnership with Clear Channel opens up a new sales channel for them and enhanced distribution for our advertisers," Silverman said. "We believe strongly in the opportunity that offline and online can have on the effectiveness of an advertising campaign."
Clarke stressed that Clear Channel Radio is not looking to replace its traditional sales channels, however.
"For Clear Channel this represents an expansion of its sales strategy. It's an additional sales channel, it's not meant to replace anything. We have 5,200 sellers around the country, and those people will continue to manage and help sell the inventory that they have," she said.
Google also announced it is now providing an API to allow radio stations to link directly to Google AdSense for Audio, and that it's begun beta testing the system with Broadcast Electronics (BE), ENCO Systems and LAN International's VIERO.
"Basically those are the leading system providers in the industry, and through the AdSense for Audio API they can develop native support," said Russell Ketchum, business product manager for Google AdSense for Audio. "We provide a standard API for the industry and open it up and allow them to code in at their discretion to bring in their customers. The API was really the most equitable strategy to get this out as quickly as it could to get it out there, and let people take advantage of it."
AdSense for Audio is currently available to stations using BE's AudioVAULT Vault2 and AV100 product lines, in addition to Google's own automation systems, SS32 and Maestro. ENCO's DAD automation system and LAN International's VIERO revenue management suite of tools, when used in conjunction with RCS NexGen, will soon be AdSense for Audio compatible as well, according to the company.
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