In an effort to target the growing local search advertising market, Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. today announced a new strategic agreement with Google in which Hearst-Argyle will become the first television industry reseller of the Google AdWords(TM) advertising program.
Under the agreement, Hearst-Argyle, operator of 29 TV stations and more than 30 Websites, will become an official reseller and will use its Web sales force to provide marketers in its 26 local markets access to Google AdWords. AdWords is an online advertising platform designed to help small and medium-sized businesses use the Web to find new customers by delivering relevant ads when users search for specific products and services.
“This is a terrific partnership to expand the digital suite of solutions we provide our advertisers,” said Terry Mackin, Executive Vice President of Hearst-Argyle Television. “This entry point to the local search market complements our existing digital media efforts which include local content, social networking, and being a primary destination in all our markets on ‘all three screens’.”
“Our new collaboration will build on the trusted relationships that Hearst-Argyle has already established by selling local television and Web advertising,” said Eric Stein, director of local markets at Google. “Now, local marketers will also have access to an additionally efficient and cost- effective way to reach customers on the Internet and help drive their continued success online.”
Boston, MA-based research firm Yankee Group recently projected that local search and Internet ad spending will grow from $1.9 billion this year to $9.3 billion in 2010. According to research by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., more than 50% of U.S. small businesses believe they can use the Internet for sales, marketing and customer support.
Today’s announcement represents an expansion of Hearst-Argyle’s relationship with Google. In June 2007, Hearst-Argyle became the first independent TV station group owner to establish a content- and revenue-sharing arrangement with YouTube(TM). To date, Hearst-Argyle has launched 26 YouTube Channels populated with news, weather, sports and entertainment videos as well as with original, local television programming and content from its recently launched social-networking site High School Playbook (www.HighSchoolPlaybook.com).
Hearst-Argyle’s digital multimedia efforts encompass the Web and the digital broadcast spectrum. A majority of the Websites operated by Hearst- Argyle stations are consistently ranked No. 1 within their respective markets. Generating in excess of 1.5 billion page views each year across the network, the sites are at the leading edge in providing wireless application protocol (WAP) content, podcasts, web-based newscasts, web video, and blogs in a broad cross-section of markets. Several Hearst-Argyle stations have used digital spectrum to launch weather and/or traffic information channels.