Google readies ‘phase 2’ of print ads project: (From MediaPost Publications):
“Google is wrapping up first phase of its print-media buying test and is about to launch “phase two” of the beta program in which Google purchases print ad inventory from consumer and business magazines to extend the reach of its online advertisers.”
I am beginning to feel as if I’ve blogged this particular ad topic ad nauseum. My opinion: For publishers of magazines, this is good. I still believe what I started saying in August when this first was announced and as recently as a couple of weeks ago: I view their experiment with serving as an independent advertising broker for small space ads appearing in print magazines as an opportunity for magazines, not a threat. Rather than a situation like Craigslist where newspaper classifieds have dried up as a result of the introduction of a new free, force, this new Google experiment brings in advertisers to the magazine that would likely have not appeared.
With this program, Google is not a competitor, but is serving as advertising sales agent for the small-space advertising that appears in “marketplace” or classified sections of magazines. There are telemarketing agencies that serve the magazine industry who should feel threatened by this move, perhaps. However, this is case where even those telemarketing firms should be able to display how they offer publishers a better (for narrowly focused, perhaps) service than Google, anyway. In the reports of this program, Google is said to be “purchasing” the ad pages. In the future (and perhaps it’s that way now, it is just being misinterpreted by reporters), I predict the business relationship between Google and the publishers will be one in which the transaction should be described in a way where the “advertisers” are purchasing advertising and Google is serving as broker.
Again, I think this is good for all involved. That is, except for the agencies that specialize in selling classified advertising for magazines. And they have time to respond by defining their role and niche more clearly to their clients.