Google Tests New Ads For Music Searches

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The Wall Street Journal spotted Google testing new “listen now” ad units for music searches, in conjunction with Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats Music.

When you search for the name of a musical artist Google will display ads grouped together under the “Listen Now” label. The ads are aimed at promoting music services, including Google Play.

The ads appear in searches on mobile devices and desktop computers, and are reportedly performing well for some advertisers already.

A Google spokesperson told WSJ:

“We’re happy to help users quickly find legitimate sources for their favorite movies, music and more via Google search.”

Google started testing these ads over the past few weeks, according to people familiar with the test who spoke with WSJ. The music services pay for each click they get, the same way Google gets paid for its traditional text link ads, A Google spokesman confirmed.

Google is going after similar approach with other new ad units that can simplify the purchase process for consumers. For example, a search for a hotel brings up a box with photos, reviews and an interactive widget where users can enter their travel dates. This type of ad unit eliminates steps for the consumer by passing the dates directly to the site where the booking is completed.

Another example of ad units making things easier for customers is how Google’s product listing ads display pictures and prices for an item, so you can comparison shop before clicking on the ad and going to the retailer’s website.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Hi Matt,
    Great article:-) I think Google is actually really doing a great job making their ad units more useful and this is just another example. If I am the advertiser like Spotify, I am definitely going to want to target users who are interested in music and who search for specific bands. They would be the type of customer I want, in the mindframe where they are looking to learn more about music. The ability to have an ad that immediately connects them to a free trial under the giant picture is ideal because it draws the users eye and also allows for a seamless transaction. My question to you, (as I am someone who uses Pandora) is do you think the ads on these music stations work? I find them disruptive to my experience rather then providing an answer to a question I am searching for or entertaining me, but maybe others find them to be useful or have a case study where they have a good ROI.