Google TV Ads Picks Up Cox Media Ad Inventory

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January 9, 2012 – 12:07 am

Ad-ing CableCox Media, the advertising division of number three cable provider Cox Communications, has struck a strategic partnership with Google TV Ads, adding their inventory to the search giant's national TV buying network, the company's will announce Monday morning.

This is a pretty big deal for Google TV Ads, which the search giant has been looking to build into a set-top box targeting solution for networks. It’s been growing in fits and starts  over the past four-plus years. Cox is the first major cable industry partner to work with Google's new TV advertising management platform.

As a result of this partnership, advertisers who use Google TV Ads will have access to inventory on over 75 networks across the Cox’s channel line up.  Cox is available in many cities across the country and is especially strong in the south.

The sometimes negative coverage Google TV Ads gets for not “cracking the code” of addressable TV and its fairly limited distribution is primarily due to the digital dominance the company has in display and search. Since no one has cracked that code, Google TV Ads’ image is mostly in competition with the other parts of the search giant.

Signs of Progress: Still, Google reps insist there has been steady areas of growth. For example, in a blog post by Mark Piesanen, director of Strategic Partner Development, Google TV Ads, the company claims a 6-fold increase in the number of ads aired per day as its household reach across cable and satellite operators has tripled, with a total of 42 million households nationwide. So, this is not a victory claim or something game-changing; rather, it’s a show of progress.

As for Cox, it shows that major media companies are giving Google a chance with their ad inventory – an important vote of confidence. The Cox partnership comes after others, such as DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and Viamedia, have handed over portions of their respective ad inventory.

Ad management: Every day, it seems someone has a new ad platform to announce. Still, when Google has a new platform, it tends to mean something. One of the things holding back addressable TV is the seemingly unbridgeable differences between a number of players, from the national networks, regional affiliates, cable, and satellite operators. As a result, Google’s Piesanen notes, each has its own slices of inventory to sell -- divided across many shows, in disparate regions, on lots of channels, at various times of the day. “On its own, each slice may not have a large number of viewers, or enable a major advertiser to reach a nationwide audience,” Piesanen writes. “And it’s time consuming to buy and sell each slice individually.”

In its proposal to solve this problem, Google TV Ads is updating its service that enables operators to easily opt-in and contribute these narrow slices into the Google TV Ads national  inventory pool.

In addition to inviting Cox to try it out, Google TV Ads has also signed up the smaller network run by Suddenlink Communications, which reaches 1.2 million households.

By David Kaplan

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January 9, 2012 – 12:07 am

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