Susan Wojcicki, Google V.P. of Product Management announced last week that they will shortly be discontinuing two of their services: Google Audio Ads and Google Radio Automation.
The audio ad service was launched in 2006 to enable the buying and selling of radio ads via Google AdWords. However, the search company now feel that in spite of investing a lot of resources, these services have not actually managed to create the kind of impact that was expected and it would be better to discontinue these services.
Google Audio Ads and AdSense for Audio will be phased out by the 31st of May. Until then, publishers will be able to continue publishing their inventory. Google Radio Automation will be sold off to an interested party.
All is not quiet on the audio front, though. Google plans to concentrate on developing technology to deliver relevant ads for online streaming audio, where the audience numbers are increasing.
While it may be remembered that Google has also decided to shut down their Print Ads division only last month, they have stated that they will continue with their TV advertising initiatives as they can measure the audience response here and their advertisers can therefore judge ad effectiveness.
While some staff may be reassigned after the discontinuation of these services, it is expected that about 40 people will find themselves jobless as a result of this decision.
Even though Google executives maintain that they are closing the audio ads service due to failed expectations, if one looks at all their other recent cut-backs – print ads, followed closely by the closure of Jaiku, Dodgeball and Notebook – it looks suspiciously like a move to try and keep up the profit margin and tide over the financial meltdown by sticking to what they know best – search.