Google has reached a multi-year agreement to sell ads on almost 5 percent of Clear Channel’s inventory, reports The New York Times.
The partnership extends Google’s reach into premium ad inventory and bolsters Google’s formerly paltry remnant inventory on about 800 stations in 200 metro areas.
Analysts have long believed there was interest in a Google-automated radio ad platform, but as recently as December of last year Google didn’t have the inventory to entice advertisers.
Google bought radio advertiser DMarc in January 2006 for $102 million. Earlier this year DMarc’s founders left the company amid concerns that Google was unable to adapt to the radio ad culture. At that time, Jordan Rohan, an Internet analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said that in order to be successful, Google had to have access to drive time ad time. The Clear Channel deal gives Google at least a little of that access.