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The program is only two months old, but WaPo already has a report card on it: Google Print Ad program, selling excess newspaper inventory for companies such as Gannett, Tribune, NYT, WaPo and Hearst, is set for expansion, if the Google execs are to be believed: they say that its pilot program has exceeded their expectations and that they will roll out an expanded version in the coming months. The top five participating newspapers are getting several bids a week from advertisers, the company said. Not sure if that was the newspaper companies’ expectation, though.
“The volume [of ads sold] is tripling where we thought it would be,” said Tom Phillips, director of print ads at Google. “I think we’ll have real impact next year” on newspapers’ bottom lines, he said.
But the newspaper executives are less hyperbolic: 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.
Google’s test concludes at the end of January. After that, participating newspapers and Google will refine the program and decide how to go forward.
— Journal Register Joins Google Print Ad Program
— Google To Sells Ads For 50 Major Newspapers; Online Auctions
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