By: E&P Staff
Two months into a test partnership with 100 advertisers and 66 newspapers, “Google executives say that its pilot program has exceeded their expectations and that they will roll out an expanded version in the coming months,” The Washington Post reports today. “The top five participating newspapers are getting several bids a week from advertisers, the company said.”
Tom Phillips, director of print ads at Google, told the Post, “The volume [of ads sold] is tripling where we thought it would be….I think we’ll have real impact next year” on newspapers’ bottom lines.
The Post story adds, however: “But to hear newspaper executives and analysts tell it, the outlook is more cautious. They said Google has brought in new advertisers, such as small companies outside their distribution areas looking to build more awareness for their products. But Google’s online ad technology is so new that it remains unclear how much it will help newspapers, they said.
“Newspapers have priced a lot of small advertisers out of the newspaper,” John Morton, a newspaper industry analyst, told the Post. Google’s plan “might be a way to bring them in,” he said. “But it’s early. We just don’t know how much or for sure whether it’s going to work.”