Google buys radio ad provider

Google has bought a company that helps automate the process of buying and selling radio ads in an effort to broaden the scope of its AdWords network.

Google has reached an agreement to acquire dMarc Broadcasting, whose technology links radio stations and advertisers and automates various aspects of the radio ad selling process.

Google will pay US$102 million in cash for all outstanding equity interests in dMarc, and has agreed to make up to US$1.136 billion in additional payments when and if certain performance goals are met, Google announced on Tuesday.

Technology from dMarc will be integrated into Google's AdWords advertising platform to open a new radio ad distribution channel for Google advertisers, Google said.

Existing dMarc customers will not suffer any service interruption as a result of the acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter, after customary closing conditions are met. More information about dMarc, which is based in Newport Beach, California, can be found at http://www.dmarc.net.

Google's planned foray into the world of radio advertising is yet another attempt by the company to broaden its online advertising mix and ad distribution channels beyond the paid search model, from which Google derives most of its revenue.

For example, Google is experimenting with buying ad space in print publications and reselling it to its advertisers. The company's recent renewal of a broad advertising and technology partnership with America Online (AOL) calls in part for AOL to help expand the amount of graphical ads in Google's ad network.

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