long-anticipated push into television advertising is about to kick off.
On Tuesday, the online search giant unveiled a partnership with satellite television provider
to create an automated system to buy, sell, and deliver ads over EchoStar's national Dish Network.
Many of EchoStar's 13.1 million users have installed two-way signals for their service. This data will allow Google to develop a system that better targets target audiences and measure the impact of advertisements.
While Google was already testing television ads through an arrangement with local cable operator Astound Broadband, the EchoStar deal will expand Google's scope by giving it national reach. Google is seeking to move beyond online ads, and announced plans last year to sell radio and print ads.
The company also had hinted that a move into television ads was in the works as it angles to become a one-stop shop for advertisers. "We have already said that we are experimenting with traditional television advertising," Google CEO Eric Schmidt told investors during the company's last conference call with investors. "It is fair to say that whatever we do will be new and different from the way it is currently sold and marketed."
Still, Google's forays into markets beyond online advertising -- where the company garners almost all its revenue -- have been mixed at best. The company has struggled to find enough advertising inventory in both mediums, and the allocations it has been given tend to be leftover scarps instead of high-priced prime space.
But Google's push into new advertising territory has been growing more aggressive. The company has high hopes for the burgeoning mobile space, where it recently announced
new partnerships with handset makers. And reports that it is now in the running to acquire
online ad technology firm
indicate it is seeking to expand its presence in third-party, rich graphic advertising.
Expansion into related digital arenas like mobile and graphic advertising may prove easier than breeching traditional markets like radio and television. In traditional markets, Google will have to compete with a broadcaster's existing sales force. And Google's aim to bid transparency to its new markets could result in hurting profit margins.
Shares of Google were recently up $10.45, or 2.3%, to $468.98.