For a change, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is selling off something: Google Radio, its online radio ad buying service which didn’t gain traction in the market and closed down earlier this year, is being sold to online ad and media management software firm WideOrbit. The SF-based start up, which has raised $40 million in funding till date, will be buying specific assets from Google, including Google Radio Automation, SS32, and Maestro. The transaction is yet to close but will soon, the company says. The employees of Google Radio will also move over to WideOrbit.
The last time Google sold something off as opposed to buying, it was Performics, the search marketing division of DoubleClick, to Publicis Groupe.
Before closing Google Radio, the search giant also closed down its newspaper ad efforts, as the economic downturn and lukewarm reception led it to rethink its portfolio of services. Since it closed down the radio ad service, a number of companies cropped up claiming they would be able to support existing Google Radio clients, but WideOrbit said in an e-mail that without access to the underlying source code, development team or development plans, no other company would be able to provide the support except WideOrbit, when the deal closes.
WideOrbit, founded in 1999, claims to help manage about $10 billion in online ads from about 1300 TV stations, radio stations, and cable networks, as well as managing advertising for movie theaters, mobile devices, and digital display networks, and has clients such as NBC, Telemundo, Hearst Television, and Gannett (NYSE: GCI), among others. It already has a radio software product.
By Rafat Ali