Google, Nielsen Forge Formidable TV Ad Alliance

25 October 2007

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Not content with domination of advertising on the worldwide web, Google is now aiming for a stronger and more influential television presence through a tie-in with research giant The Nielsen Company.

The latter has inked a deal to provide detailed information to Google about the types of people who watch specific TV shows, thereby enabling advertisers using the Google TV Ads service to gauge more accurately the audience most likely to be interested in their messages.

Currently, Google is testing sales of spots on EchoStar Communications' Dish network. The web business uses data gleaned from 13 million subscribers' set-top boxes to tell its clients how many viewers are watching their commercials and for how long.

The collaboration with Nielsen will bring a greater depth of demographic information to the raw viewer numbers.

Industry observers believe the partnership and the resulting detailed measurement system will persuade other pay-TV operators to partner with Google.

Declares the latter's director for television ads, Michael Steib: "We see a future in which, when you sit down in front of your television set, you will see ads that are more relevant for you.

"When we make advertisements more relevant to viewers, inventory becomes more valuable and the return on investment is much higher for advertisers."

Adds Pam Zucker, evp at MediaVest USA: "The whole promise of Google TV is about better accountability, and you need demographics and targeting to get that accountability."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff