Article in AdAge briefly explores that question. The phrase that jumped out of the story at me was, “automated sale of remnant ads.”
“Right now, through Google’s year-ago acquisition of dMarc, a radio systems company, it has been able to create an automated way to sell what is mostly remnant radio inventory, which remains unsold until the last minute. But, noted Mr. Bank, Google Audio is making several high-profile hires in the radio sales field in major radio markets. Now why, if Google Audio’s selling of remnant ad time is so automated, would there need to be so many high-priced radio ad sales folks.”
I’m pretty sure a big chunk of my salary for the past 20 years has come from acquiring and selling “remnant radio inventory.” Should companies that trade services for commercials on radio stations (we call it barter) be concerned about this? My guess is most station managers would rather have cash for his unsold commercials.
The Google-Clear Channel idea is an interesting one. CC has lot of stations and Google has figured some things out about advertising.