Google Inc. is selling its abandoned radio advertising business to WideOrbit Inc. The latter agreed to buy Google's technology for automating radio ad placement. However, the financial details for the deal has not yet been disclosed. WideOrbit would inherit 3,600 customers along with an undisclosed number of employees. This is a privately held company based in San Francisco that makes software for the broadcast TV and radio industries.
Google has announced its departure from the radio business in February as part of efforts to cut costs and due to the poor performance of the operations. The search giant has also abandoned an another ad selling business for newspapers this year owing to disappointing returns on the investment. However, Google's television ad service, started in 2007 still continues to cater to viewers' individual interests. NBC Universal, Bloomberg TV and Hallmark Channel are among the networks participating in the service.
Google ventured into broadcast radio three years ago with the purchase of dMarc Broadcasting Inc. for more than $100 million. In achieving certain financial targets, Google would have required to pay an additional $1.1 billion, but the radio business never hit the target!
Now, Google intends to deploy some of the technology for audio streamed on the Internet rather placing ads on broadcast radio. Meanwhile, Google announced that it is buying On2 Technologies Inc., a provider of digital video compression technology in an all-stock deal valued at $106.5 million. The technology compresses video files to move them more easily across the Web. The technology is important given the growing volume of online video.