Radio industry watchers reacted with a mix of excitement and concern when Internet giant Google Inc. recently last week that it has finalized a much-anticipated radio advertising buying system and has begun limited tests for it.
The move seems certain to expand and strengthen Google’s role in selling advertising for traditional media companies. But analysts are not sure yet how the system will affect a weak radio ad market, with some expecting it will put pressure on ad rates, while others predict it will open up the space to new marketers.
Google’s push into the arena comes at a time of continued sluggishness of marketers’ spending in the sector, but expectations for a slightly strengthening radio ad market next year.
In recent years, radio revenue growth for broadcasters has been far off the high-single-digit gains they had seen in the past.