The relationship will see FiOS hand off a portion of the non-premium inventory it sells across 50 different networks to Google, which it will pool with inventory from other sources and auction off to advertisers through its automated TV Ads system. FiOS ads currently reach 3.3 million homes, the company said, but would not specify which networks it’s giving Google access to.
Google and Verizon also declined to specify exactly how much inventory will be made available to Google through the partnership, but FiOS general manager of ad sales Jason Malamud described it as a “substantial” and “material” amount. “Our sales teams do a great job of selling premium inventory, but it’s difficult to be effective at selling the long tail,” Malamud told ClickZ News. “There’s lots of valuable stuff out there that’s undersold, and our relationship with Google is intended to help advertisers find that inventory,” he said.
The arrangement is similar to the ones Google already has in place with rival providers DirecTV and DISH Network, which also allocate the Google portions of their inventory in return for a share of revenue generated by the company’s sale of it. Typically, providers sell around two to three minutes of ad inventory for every hour of programming, with the networks selling the remainder. Under the terms of these deals, therefore, Google will be selling a portion of the networks’ two minutes of real estate an hour.
Speaking with ClickZ, Mark Piesanen, director of strategic partnerships for Google TV Ads, emphasized the fact that the product is not intended to grant advertisers access to inventory from specific providers, but instead to audiences. “Digital ad buyers have always thought about buying audiences. We’re trying to bring that sensibility to television,” he said, adding, “It’s not about where the inventory is coming from… Advertisers care about the audiences, not the providers.”
Piesanen said that by early 2011, the Google TV Ads platform will be able to reach 35 million households, representing around a third of all U.S. cable and satellite subscribers. The fact remains, though, that most of that inventory is non-premium in its nature, though Piesenan emphasized that much of it is available on all dayparts.
YouTube is said to be preparing new non-video features that will allow content creators to interact with their viewers through photos, text posts, links and polls.
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