There are a number of stories this morning recapping aspects of the Google Analyst Day discussions, which were overshadowed to some degree by the Microsoft-Facebook announcement yesterday. While most of it appears to have been a basic overview intended to remind financial analysts and some press about the range of Google’s product offerings and their growth, there were some interesting nuggets.
From Miguel Helft from the New York Times, the following is some interesting discussion about the Microsoft-Facebook deal and why Google may not have been willing to go higher:
Like other executives before him, Mr. Schmidt declined to comment on negotiations with Facebook. But he and Mr. Brin had plenty to say about social networking. Mr. Brin, for instance, said that he believed that Google was better at monetizing social networks than any of its competitors. Without specifically referring to Microsoft’s deal with Facebook, Mr. Schmidt said that companies routinely overbid for online advertising deals, promising revenue guarantees that they may not be able to meet profitably.
“It is perfectly legal, but it is essentially a subsidy,” Mr. Schmidt said. “We like to do pay for performance deals.” And Mr. Schmidt said that Google’s advertising deal with MySpace, for which some analysts believe Google overpaid, was performing well: “The MySpace deal is ahead of our plans,” he said.
This suggests that Google decided the cost of the Facebook deal wasn’t worth it and that the economics didn’t work out in the company’s mind.
Eric Savits at Barrons offers a couple of survey posts that summarize several discussions and panels. One post is about ad quality and formats and enterprise applications. In that post there’s discussion of much more growth in search, improved ad quality, and breaking into the brand advertiser budget. He quotes Tim Armstrong as saying that Google thinks it “can get to 5% of CPG ads.”
YouTube and AdSense for video is about tapping the brand advertising budget. But so is the DoubleClick acquisition, which appears headed for approval.
Savits also posts about Jonathan Rosenberg’s panel on search and apps, in which there were discussions of GMail, Google Maps, Google Gears, YouTube, and iGoogle and Universal Search. There appear to be no revelations, rather an overview and orientation to each of these initiatives and where they stand.
MediaPost reports on Tim Armstrong’s discussion of Google’s plans for a “Big Dashboard” for advertisers that allows them to track and manage their media spend in one place:
Google is working on “fully functional marketing dashboard” that will integrate data from advertisers’ search, display, and offline marketing efforts, allowing them to “look across assets, metrics, and user engagement cycles,” Tim Armstrong, president of advertising and commerce for North America, told analysts during an Analyst Day session.
No further details or timeline for the dashboard were given, but Armstrong said the “high velocity of interest from brand agencies and media partners” in Google’s offline solutions, as well as newer ad models like Gadget Ads and YouTube overlays, warranted the development of a robust, integrated reporting platform.
This has always been up Google’s sleeve and the company is now going public with it. Just as Google wants to be a sort of one-stop shop for all media buying, it makes sense to offer a corresponding way to view and track ad spending across media. This concept also provides further insight into the company’s partnership with Nielsen.