Google's miscues trying to enter traditional media advertising are well documented, but the company is quietly making headway.
The dMarc acquisition has been so-so at best. And critics such as Donna Bogatin are quick to note Google's challenges in offline advertising such as radio and television.
But Google has more momentum with traditional media players today than it did just two months ago Viacom lawsuit be damned. Google announced that it signed a multi-year agreement with Clear Channel that allows the search giant to sell a "a guaranteed portion of 30-second advertising inventory available on more than 675 of Clear Channel's AM/FM stations."
Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the New York Times is reporting that Google will have access to just under 5 percent of Clear Channel's commercial times (Techmeme discussion). Now you could harp on the small percentage, but the deal rates as progress for Google. If Google can deliver and possibly make money for Clear Channel you can expect the partnership to expand. And earlier this month Google signed a deal with EchoStar.
Meanwhile, the DoubleClick acquisition may be a stealth way for Google to play into print advertising. AG Edwards analyst Denise Garcia notes the following in a research note:
DoubleClick has over 1,500 customers, but most are publishers such as AOL, MTV, Sports Illustrated, and Meredith Interactive. Using its DART advertising serving software, advertisers and publishers are able to post and measure the effectiveness of primarily graphical-based advertisements, including rich-media and video ads.
Could Google parlay DoubleClick into selling print advertising in those aforementioned properties? It's possible. At the very least it's an entry for Google. If publishers like Meredith, which publishes a host of women's magazines such as Ladies Home Journal and American Baby, find Google to be a useful partner print advertising may not be so far fetched.
Google still has an uphill climb. A CBS web video distribution deal looked like a who's who of Google's enemies. And Yahoo is the partner of choice for traditional media outlets such as newspapers.
But in the end Google is making progress. Remember, the future of advertising is a business-intelligence/ROI model. If Google delivers the metrics, it'll get more partners.