Google is making TV commercials more like internet ads

It looks like Google wants to bring TV ads into the 21st century. The company has quietly announced a new local advertising service for Google Fiber that will make TV ads behave a lot more like internet ads. Using data from its set-top-boxes, Google (and advertisers) will know precisely how many times a particular local ad has been watched in homes with Google Fiber service. That might not sound like a big deal, but the industry-standard Nielsen ratings simply don’t offer that kind of information. Like on the web, Google will only charge for the number of views an ad receives.

That’s not all. Google will use some viewer data, like what show you’re watching or what shows you’ve watched in the past to try and target the ads for maximum effect. The company even hints that ads can be fine-tuned for where you live — for instance, you might see a different local ad during the football game than your friend who lives on the other side of town. Advertisers will even be able to tell Google to stop showing an ad once a particular household has seen it a certain number of times. The service is launching as a limited trial in Kansas City for now, and could expand to Google Fiber’s other launch cities soon.

Google is offering data that Nielsen simply doesn’t have

Cable companies have long sold advertising time during nationally-broadcast shows to local small businesses — that’s how that goofy ad for your local used car dealer makes it onto your TV during the latest episode of your favorite show. But those are far more static than what Google’s envisioning. This is a flexible system, where ads can be inserted and swapped out on-the-fly, in “real time.”

It’s not yet clear precisely how the system will work, but, similar to Google’s cornerstone AdWords business, algorithms might determine the best time to show you a certain ad. For instance, if you’re watching the news before flipping over to the football game, the system might determine that you should be served a different ad during halftime than your buddy who switched over to the game from Pawn Stars. Google says it will even be able to swap out ads on DVR’d programs, so you won’t be served an old or irrelevant advertisement if you watch a program a week after it originally aired. Fiber customers will have an option to disable ads based on viewing history, Google notes.

With the possible exception of TiVo’s little-known research division, which offers second-to-second, randomized viewer data to marketers, there’s simply no way to get the kind of data Google is promising with its new service. The TV industry works off of Nielsen ratings, which pulls viewership data from a relatively tiny cross-section of viewers with meters installed in their homes. That data is then extrapolated to give total US viewership numbers.

Nevertheless, despite the opportunities for advertisers, it’s hard to imagine how Google could expand its TV ad service to the more lucrative national market — the system is dependent on Google controlling the hardware in people’s homes. And since Nielsen ratings have proven incredibly resilient over the years despite technological advances, it’s unlikely Google will take over any time soon.

Verge Video Archives: Google’s Tense Alliance to Hook Up Kansas City’s Poor (Detours, Season 1)

Article source:

Related Posts