MediaCom: Impact of Google’s “pay per gaze” non-existent for advertisers

MediaCom: Impact of Google’s “pay per gaze” non-existent for advertisers
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The head of innovation & technology at Mediacom has poured cold water on any future impact for advertisers of Google’s plans for a new device that would allow it to charge advertisers on “pay per gaze” basis.

Yesterday, B&T reported that Google had obtained a patent for a device similar to Google Glass that registers when individuals look at an ad before charging the relevant company.

However, Mediacom's Nic Hodges (pictured) has told B&T that this particular patent is just one of thousands Google has in its locker and he's skeptical that  “pay per gaze” will ever get to market.

"Google have had around 25,000 patents issued to them,” said Hodges. “If you include the patents they've bought off third parties they have around 50,000. Patents are a defence mechanism to protect revenue (and in some cases create revenue and stifle innovation), and generally viewed as an anachronism within technology companies," he added.  

Hodges said that while "it's a nice story that somewhere at Google there's a team of ex-AdWords engineers squirrelling away at CPG ad platform", it's nothing more than a nice story, and the implications for advertisers are nonexistent.

Guillaume Goudal, head of digital at MEC, said that people don’t generally stare at ads.

"They may not even look at them," he said. "Often they’ll only see them, many ads just happen to be in their field of vision. Obviously this involves a cost, but what if advertisers could pay a bit more in order to actually be looked at?"

Goudal said that this is already partially true online where they know if an ad is being displayed and generates an interaction.

"It may be time to bring digital tracking technologies to the physical world as it would eventually increase the overall quality of ads and environments where they are implemented. It would also reduce the volume of messages people are being exposed to," he said.

Daniel Sinfield, head of trading and Implementation at OMD Australia, told B&T that the technology looks interesting from a audience measurement perspective for a small representative panel, but he cannot see the general public choosing to put on glasses to watch TV in larger numbers.

"The biggest channels is that OzTam is owned by the TV networks so I cannot see them being happy to trade on a currency they have a controlling influence on," he said.

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