Google's Ad Empire Expands To Newspapers

Tests will get underway in the next month. Some 50 major newspapers are on board including The New York Times, Gannett papers, The Washington Post and Hearst. Google is simultaneous taking on radio ad sales and is hiring high profile sales people away from terrestrial radio for its new service there. Earlier this year Google started selling ads in several dozen magazines such as Motor Trend and PC World with mixed results so far. Google takes its usual 20% of the ad revenue and traditional media, treading water to show break even growth, is apparently up for it. Television is also in Google's plans. It's hard to know what the eventual impact will be on traditional media but Google could be the darling of old media if it can inject some of new media's innovations into efficient selling. The question of what becomes of relationship selling is a good one and not easily answered. The Internet has changed everything. Agencies are very comfortable doing their buys online. Face to face contact is becoming a distraction. Show me the numbers. Get me the best price. Book it. While our tendency is to talk about all the content changes that are building exponentially these days I am personally keeping an eye on Google's great sales experiment. If it succeeds, the master of online advertising may be helping to save traditional media's bacon with a wider range of prospects and lower sales costs.