Google holds a semi annual confab for its partners called Zeitgeist. The press is not invited, but a lof of folks I know end up going. The consensus from them is that the event has turned into a pretty traditional “make your clients happy” event. In other words, Google’s acting like every other company in the world that sells advertising for a living.
Forbes rounds it up here. From it:
Schmidt said that more than 1,000 people will ultimately work on Google’s efforts in radio advertising, which will someday sell radio ads over a modified version of its current Adwords placement service. “We’re trying to get a simplified Adwords interface where the advertiser gets multiple channels,” Schmidt said. The idea: Let a marketer allocate an ad budget across multiple platforms, either in an automated manner or by targeting times and regions.
The initiative to put ads in newspapers, ongoing since January, now has almost 100 newspapers, Schmidt said. Television advertising, he added, is still a long way off, but is planned.
And note this kicker to the piece:
One area Google won’t be moving into, the three said, is actual content creation. That’s a refrain the company has to constantly repeat in the face of concern by publishers and other media types who worry about the company’s ambitions. “We see ourselves as the best way to get to content,” said Schmidt.
“…and monetize it,” Page added.
This is why I think Google and YouTube make sense: no one else can position themselves in this way to Big Media. Other Big Media companies will sue the shit out of whoever buys YouTube. But Google has one hell of a legal team, and it’s entire business is based on the DMCA safe harbor. “We’re not here to compete with you guys for content creation,” Google says, “we’re here to partner with you!”