Google’s TV advertising division was well represented at this week’s Electronic Retailing Association conference in Las Vegas. This is a summary of a presentation given by Google’s Matt Derella.
Google has been in the process of rolling out a TV advertising platform that allows advertisers to upload commercials (15, 30, or 60 second spots) into their ad platform, then place them on TV networks.
Just to be clear – since it wasn’t to everyone at the presentation – this is advertising on actual physical televisions. Ads are placed and charged for on a CPM basis. Not pay per click, because you can’t click your television today.
At this point, the vast majority of ad inventory available through Google’s system is on Echostar’s satellite TV system. Advertisers can buy ad spots on cable networks such as Nickelodeon, Game Show Network, or Current TV, but they’ll only be shown to people watching those channels through Echostar (and a few small local cable providers) as of now.
The inventory is not remnant inventory, and the deal appears to be working out well for Google and Echostar as Echostar is tripling the amount of inventory available to Google.
Echostar’s use of set-top boxes and the data those boxes collect allows Google to provide some incredibly interesting reporting back to advertisers. For example, they’re able to track second by second viewership of commercials, showing advertisers when viewers typically bail on their commercials. Over time, this should help advertisers create more engaging commercials.
Google also reports how effective an advertiser’s ads are vs other ads on the same channel. In aggregate, this can be used to help figure out which channel’s viewers have the highest engagement with an advertiser’s ads.
The long tail of TV advertising could become a more competitive marketplace for advertising due to the data Google is gathering on smaller channels like Current TV. According to Derella, Nielsen has a tough time providing accurate viewership numbers on smaller cable channels like Current TV. By tapping into Echostar’s entire viewship for data, Google can provide more precise viewership data.
Of course, the Echostar relationship is somewhat unique. Derella admits that they may need to extrapolate from sources like Echostar to predict viewership on other types of TV delivery.