Google: Wide is the new narrow

Per the LAT today, “The Internet search giant today plans to introduce a system for running TV-style commercials as it tries to capitalize on a fast-growing segment of online advertising.” google_logo_1.jpg

In other words, while deep-pocketed entertainment stantions like 20th Century Fox and Paramount Classics need no convincing that their target audience is online, it’ll be interesting to see whether small businesses can embrace it, too.

Per the LAT’s Chris Gaither,

“Google executives said they also hoped small businesses such as bed-and-breakfast inns would use video ads to attract customers on specialty websites. The video ads won’t appear alongside Google’s search results, just on the content websites of partners such as blogs and newspapers.”

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The implications of this are startling: If Google is successful, the Web, once a quiet place where one more or less controlled the content one witnessed, may well become a vast cacophony of shrill, honking horns demanding your attention.

For just as your local optometrist and car-dealer buys local advertising on TV today, ads sent out into parochial, defined-interest websites may well become the new ad medium of tomorrow – a huge boon to the Net economy, but a kick in the jaw for TV stations. Suddenly, every merchant can afford to advertise well beyond its current means.

No doubt, local broadcasters will be watching this with great interest, because it threatens their very livelihood. Imagine, aggregating potential buyers not by the shows they watch on an old analog station, but by the myriad interests they pursue online. Pretty quickly, it becomes clear which medium has greater reach.