“Google is finding some friends. There are plenty of critics of Google’s foray into radio — but we’re slowly seeing some group heads come out and say there may be a place for the Internet giant in radio sales. Regent tested the service in two markets and CEO Bill Stakelin says they sold “a tremendous amount of inventory” and the results “far exceeded our expectations.” He says the issue that remains to be worked out is pricing.
While Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says “if Google has the advertiser that we’re never going to call on at rates that make sense … then it’s business that we want to take.” Smulyan says Google’s efforts are especially welcome in “transactional” markets like New York and L.A. where radio has done a “marginal job” at attracting new advertisers.
Meanwhile — Border Media Partners CEO Tom Castro says many folks are focusing on HD and streaming. But the real technological breakthrough will come on the sales side. Castro says “it’s not very sexy — but it’s where we are going to make a lot of money in the future.” — INSIDE RADIO report from the Kagan Radio-TV Summit: