Failure to Beat Nielsen Led Google to Pull Plug on TV Ads

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

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Following a four-year effort in the incredibly lucrative TV ad business, Google has decided to pull the plug. Traditional TV ads are out – going forward Google plans to focus exclusively on digital. Google has now tried and failed to disrupt the traditional advertising business in print, radio and television. In part, Google’s TV effort was slow to attract new advertisers and more partners to the platform.

“Video is increasingly going digital and users are now watching across numerous devices. So we’ve made the hard decision to close our TV Ads product over the next few months,” Shishir Mehrotra, VP of product at YouTube and video at Google, wrote in a blog post. “We’ll be doubling down on video solutions for our clients (like YouTube, AdWords for Video, and ad serving tools for web video publishers). We also see opportunities to help users access web content on their TV screens, through products like Google TV.”

“The [satellite] and cable operators have excess unsold inventory so it was partially an experiment,” said Derek Baine, senior analyst at SNL Kagan. But Google had a much bigger target than just TV ad sales – it wanted to compete with Nielsen on ratings.

 

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