Fortune: Google’s Media Takeover “Stuck on the Launch Pad”

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Google has made plenty of attempts to extend its advertising empire beyond search, the latest being a joint deal with NBC Universal to sell TV ads via Google’s online service. But as Fortune magazine points out, “based on close reading and conversations with people who were involved, the deal looks like a whole lot of nothing much – another Google experiment that we likely will not hear of again for a long while.”

The article said that like Google’s recent, limited forays into print and radio advertising, this latest deal reeks of one that a startup might make, not a company of Google’s stature.

The report said that the NBC deal is laden with restrictions—NBC is only making a few advertising slots available for sale via Google, on channels including Sci-Fi, CNBC and Oxygen. “None of the Google-sold ads will appear on the flagship NBC broadcast network or its top-rated cable channel, USA Network. More importantly—”and here’s something that was not spelled out publicly—Google can only sell advertising at the same price [or higher] than what NBC would normally charge,” which is very strange given Google’s usual auction-based system. In short, there’s nothing to see here.