Google is shutting down its TV Ads initiative, begun in 2007, which allowed AdWords advertisers to buy television ads via the AdWords interface and auction model. The company distributed video ads nationally in the US via its partners Bloomberg, DISH Network, DIRECTV, CBS College Sports, Cox Media and Verizon FiOS, among others.
But Google is quick to note that this doesn’t mean it’s giving up on video ads, just that it’s focusing on interactive forms on laptops, smartphones and tablets. “The future of video advertising is extremely bright and we’re excited to devote ourselves fully to it,” wrote Shishir Mehrotra, director of product management for Google Video Ads, in a blog post.
The company says the team working on TV Ads will be moved to other areas at Google, which will continue to offer digital video advertising via YouTube, AdWords for Video and via ad serving tools for web video publishers. Google will also continue to have a presence on people’s TV screens through products like Google TV.
The move is in line with other recent changes, attributed to CEO Larry Page, to shut down less important or successful initiatives, so the company can focus on the areas in which it has achieved more success or sees more promise.
The TV Ads product will close up shop over the next few months, serving out existing clients’ campaigns.
At the time when the TV Ads program launched, it was seen as promising for a couple of reasons. First, it brought digital-style buying and transparency to a traditional medium. Secondly, it could theoretically have enabled agencies to buy multiple media — and see unified apples-to-apples reporting — from a single interface. But, like Google’s earlier foray into selling newspaper ads, the company seems to be acknowledging that it hasn’t been as successful as once hoped.