Google’s Schmidt: Plenty of Ad Dollars To Go Around
By Glen Dickson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/16/2007 5:27:00 PM
Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt took the NAB stage Monday to reassure broadcasters that Google isn’t trying to steal away advertising revenues, but instead grow the overall market.
Arriving at NAB on the heels of a $3 billion acquisition of Internet display advertising specialist DoubleClick, Google announced Monday that is has closed a multi-year deal with radio behemoth Clear Channel that gives Google a guaranteed portion of 30-second advertising inventory available on more than 675 of Clear
Channel's AM/FM stations.
In an NAB super-session moderated by former NBC anchor John Siegenthaler, Schmidt said that Google will use its advertising technology to bring new advertisers to radio.
“The Clear Channel deal is the defining deal for our radio business,” said Schmidt, who predicted that Google will bring “significantly more revenue to Clear Channel.” Schmidt said that since Google’s cut of ad revenues is relatively small—“an initial stake of 5% or so”—that it will be "primarily focused" on bringing in new prospects.
Schmidt used the NAB forum to downplay the notion that Google will use its advertising technology, which it is also testing with satellite operator EchoStar, to grab revenues from radio and TV stations.
“Google is a new phenomenon, it doesn’t replace radio or TV,” said Schmidt, who said that Google’s technology can give a boost to advertising revenues that have fallen flat for broadcasters.
Schmidt also downplayed allegations by Microsoft that its proposed DoubeClick acquisition raises antitrust issues because of the further reach it would give Google in online advertising. He noted that the global advertising business is too big--$700 billion to $1 trillion---for one company to dominate.
He said that Microsoft “may be well-practiced, from previous experience, in making these arguments. The more likely scenario is they were unhappy because we are their competitor.”
Schmidt also took a few shots at Viacom, which is suing Google and its Web video service YouTube for copyright infringement after the companies failed to reach a content partnership to sell advertising. Schmidt reiterated Google’s position, that it is protected under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act because it has taken down content from YouTube as Viacom requested.
“The Viacom case is easy to understand,” said Schmidt. “With Viacom, you’re either doing a business deal with them, or you’re being sued by them. First, we were in the former position, now we’re in the latter…For them, it’s just a business transaction. But it’s a business I’m not familiar with.”
Google has maintained that it can solve copyright issues with its own technical wizardry, and at NAB Schmidt said that Google will soon launch a content tracking technology, Claim Your Content, that will allow programmers to inform Google of licensed content they want protected and then facilitate the automatic removal of that content from YouTube.
“We’re testing this with a couple partners, and we’re very close to turning this on,” said Schmidt.
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