Google Shuts Down TV Ad Program

Google TV Ad ProgramGoogle has decided to shut down its TV ads product and re-focus those efforts on online video ad programs.

The TV ad program, which began in 2007, targeted viewers of networks like CNN and ESPN but used an Ad Words style pricing and analytics structure, but the concept never fully took off.

This move could be seen as a sign of the times. More and more viewers are taking to their computers, tablets, and other mobile devices to watch TV shows and videos. Less are going the traditional TV route.

Google re-focusing its efforts on a growing venue instead of holding onto one that is declining could be considered a positive step for the company.

The Google TV Ads site does boast some success stories, mainly for small companies. This is likely due to Google’s pricing structure, which lets companies set their own budget and just pay for ads that people have actually watched.

So for small businesses that wouldn’t normally have the resources to reach a traditional TV audience, this is one type of program that allowed them to advertise using this venue without going broke in the process. This means that now companies who want to reach a traditional TV audience have one less option to choose from.

The good news is that new media like online videos can be much more affordable for small businesses in terms of advertising. So this move by Google is just one more sign that more groups of consumers can be reached in this way than ever before.

With the company re-focusing its efforts back to this type of media, there will likely be more changes and options available for advertisers in the future.


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. Annie: I haven’t heard about Google’s TV ad program at all. Thank for informing us about this now defunct feature. Do you have stats on how TV viewers have changed to online behavior? Why not try to combine regular TV and create an interactive online element?

  2. As an agency focused on TV advertising for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-up ventures, we at have had many inquiries from former users of Google TV Ads who asked us for help in rekindling their advertising campaigns after the shut-down. We were able to create new television commercials for them and also put together media buys to reach their desired customers in the most economical way.

    A minor correction — the demise of Google’s TV experiment had nothing to do with viewership numbers on TV, or any real abandonment of TV as a platform. In fact, statistics reveal that TV viewing has remained high, even during and after the recession, and internet use is often simply an accompaniment to TV viewing in most U.S. homes. We can only speculate, but we feel that Google’s AdWords style pricing and their (in practice) limited access to TV airings made their system impractical, and the do-it-yourself nature of their tools was at odds with how television is actually bought and sold in the marketplace.

    To answer Martin, yes, there is great synergy between TV advertising and the online efforts of many businesses. We frequently create television commercials for businesses with an online presence, or whose business is entirely online. We find that this works quite well.

    Hope this sheds a bit of light on the topic.