Google Pulls The Plug On Its Radio Ads; Retreats To What It Knows Best

Google is pulling the plug on its Google Audio Ads and Adsense for Audio products, and is looking to sell off its Google Radio Automation software business. The moves come less than a month after the company decided to stop selling print ads, another experiment to expand beyond Web advertising that went nowhere. Google expects to lay off as many as 40 people as a result of exiting the broadcast radio advertising business. We’ve added teh number to our Layoff Tracker.

It also marks the failure of Google’s $102 million acquisition of dMarc Broadcasting two years ago, which formed the basis of these businesses. The dMarc deal could have been worth as much as $1.13 billion if the business hit certain milestones. But radio stations and the companies that own them never gave Google the advertising inventory it needed to make it a real business, despite Google’s outright attempts to buy market share.

You’ve got to wonder whether dMarc would have made more inroads on its own had it not sold to Google. As it was, fear of Google’s growing power no doubt played a role in the lack of cooperation from the radio industry. And in this environment, even Google can’t fund money-losing projects forever. So it decided to take its marbles and go home, staying in the audio ad business only as it applies to streaming audio on the Internet. Google says it will still continue to pursue its dreams of serving better TV ads, but it is not clear Google is making much progress on that front either.