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Google Audio Ads Ramps Up Radio’s Reach

It’s been widely understood and acknowledged (ever since Google’s January 2006 acquisition of dMarc Advertising) that Google would be launching an interface to sell radio advertising based on it’s widely popular Google AdWords platform.

Well, the wait is over. It’s here. Now, anyone with an AdWords account can buy targeted radio advertising via a new tab at the top of their AdWords interface.

The impact of this innovation on the radio advertising industry cannot be overstated. Google facilitates the production of the spot as well as its placement (you can pick radio stations by audience demographic as well as geographic location, etc.). Thus this new service is truly revolutionary because it makes the whole process of advertising on local radio a whole lot easier and far more accessible than ever before.

Google, DoubleClick & the Next Era of Internet Advertising


While Microsoft & ATT are quick to raise defensive legal questions (and Google’s Eric Schmidt is quick to scoff at them, while also downplaying their new online presentation application), Sara Holoubeck at the DMNews (DM as in direct marketing) has some nice references to emerging ad exchange networks that introduce and integrate EBay-style bidding into online display advertising.

Bottom line, this merger idea is not just Google getting a new way to connect to display ads, it’s also about the continuing re-modeling of online advertising in general. It’s moving fast and it’s just another brand of toothpaste that’s not going back into the tube.

Even SmartMoney calls Microsoft’s claims “almost laughable” amongst other more progressive comments.

Google Apps Offers New Lowcost Website, Email Strategy for Small Businesses


There are many ways to look at the launch of Google’s new Apps platform, but for me, it looks like a pretty cool and very low cost ($50/year/user) way for a small business to do a web site without traditional hosting, and with a bunch of neat features.

Because it supports direct domain (as well as sub-domain) hosting and includes integrated e-mail as well as a bunch of features (from Google Page Creator for creating web pages to calendars and other forms of collaboration), it’s quite powerful. More info here specifically for small businesses.

I think the biggest challenge will be having small businesses understand the scope of what’s being offered.

On the other hand, the bigger business story for larger enterprises and the broader IT market is that Google is Challenging Microsoft (NYTimes) with a service that offers email and more for $50/user vs $225/user annually using Office and Exchange.

Online Video Explosion Signposts

One nice thing about the online video explosion, revolution, or whatever you want to call it, is that it does have signposts. (FYI, I’m still waiting for some professional publisher to ask me to write more about all this… hello?!).

But meanwhile here are a couple of recent articles and/or posts that I found to be of interest and encouraging re: the re-emergence of my own “video-video” enterprises (videos about video and online communications) which are percolating in the background:

> VideoEgg Hits 3 Million Uploads — TechCrunch insights on the growth of this online video leader vis a vis GooTube (Google-YouTube) who may have the best ad platform of the moment. I said “may.”

> All The World’s a Stage (That Includes the Internet) — NYTimes writer Scott Kirsner offers a nice overview with examples of how user-generated content can and is making money, at least for a few leading edge folks.

MerchantCircle Aggregates Local Search Listings for Small Businesses

Over 14 million Business ListingsI’ve commented before about the expansion of local search, other convergent tools for local search, and even a directory of local search directories. All in support of small businesses who are recognizing that being found on the web is now far more important than being found in the paper yellow pages.

Now, thanks to the AlwaysOn.com Media 100 “special awards for market disruption,” I’ve discovered a wonderful service, MerchantCircle.com that gives small business owners a convenient way to access (or add) local search listings on most of the important local search directories (only Google seems to be missing) including Yahoo Local, City Search, YellowPages.com, Verizon Superpages, Yelp.com, Insiderpages.com and more.

The result is the ability to manage your business’ “web identity” and online “reputation.” So, if you have a business that has local, face-to-face community contact (in other words if your business does not exist entirely on the web), then MerchantCircle is definitely worth checking out. You can monitor and update most of your localized listings and also network with other local businesses in a very state-of-the-Web 2.0-art environment.