As of September Google has been selling time through Google TV Adwords for NBC advertising inventory. The announcement was made on September 24th on the Google offline ads blog.
Again they've made another deal, this time with Bloomberg TV. Starting November 6th Google started allowing advertisers to target Bloomberg TV viewers in the US. While this was previously available through a partnership with Dish Network it is now a direct link between the two firms and gives advertisers more access to more inventory there. From the looks of things it's the first of many that will be coming soon to the Google TV Ads flock.
What does it all mean?
For some time Google has been attempting to branch out into offline media including television, print and audio ads. It seems like their persistence is beginning to pay off. There have been massive rumblings about a Google TV coming soon which will allow users to watch television shows over the Internet and have them supported by advertising. There was even a wildly elaborate hoax that had Gmail users logging in and out of their accounts hundreds of times in order to get into the 'super-secret' Google TV Beta. As of yet no Google TV has surfaced.
However there is YouTube Live. A first-of-its-kind event that is part concert, part variety show and all live and streamed on YouTube Saturday November 22, 2008 at 5pm PST. It doesn't really show that Google and YouTube are entertaining the TV arena, or does it? There's another show in Tokyo the following day. Sponsors for these events include Toyota, Lionsgate, Guitar Hero, Virgin America and Flip video. It's not really Google getting into TV, but they are definitely trying to take some viewers away from the normal Saturday night lineup. If they can command a large enough audience perhaps the big broadcast networks will take further notice. Google is already selling ad space on some big name networks so it doesn't need much more proof of concept. NBC, CNN, Bloomberg are all in which means pressure is going to be put on other large broadcast TV outlets to get in the game.
What's it mean for you?
Television advertising, even locally, on a network affiliate has been out of reach of many small business owners. Google's ad auction strategy could get your ads in front of people in your local market or nationwide at a fraction of the cost of traditional avenues to television advertising. This could mean that the same video you produce for online ads could also be used for television, provided that that source material is of sufficient quality. If you're interested in the technical requirements of ads for Google TV ads check here. In a nutshell, standard def video files with a resolution of 720x480@ 29.97 frames per second for NTSC and a standard 4:3 ratio. There are numerous other things on that page to help you on your way.
Looking at a return-on-investment angle it means that if you put some extra time into your video ad and make it adhere to the Google TV ad requirements you could then pare down the same material to run smoothly online. That's definitely more bang for your production buck and in a time of economic downturn that's a good thing.
Speaking of the economic downturn, companies have less money to throw around on high-priced advertising and that means that you might be able to get a valuable slot on Google TV ads for far less than you might otherwise. So if you were ever looking at getting into television advertising and you have the money, now might be the perfect time to do so.