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Google to shut down TV advertising sales business

Google blames death of its 5-year-old Google TV Ads platform on the booming popularity of mobile video.

Google is pulling the plug on Google TV Ads, the search giant's five-year attempt to revolutionize the way advertising is sold on TV.

The move was prompted by the booming popularity of watching content across a variety of mobile devices, Google said.

"We've made the hard decision to close our TV Ads product over the next few months and move the team to other areas at Google," Shishir Mehrotra, vice president of product at YouTube, said in a company blog post. "We'll be doubling down on video solutions for our clients (like YouTube, AdWords for Video, and ad serving tools for web video publishers). We also see opportunities to help users access web content on their TV screens, through products like Google TV."

Launched in 2007, Google TV Ads was basically an attempt to replicate on the small screen the self-service search-ad model that has turned Google into a Web powerhouse. Google TV Ads customers could upload video ads to Google's site and then decide how much they want to spend per ad impression.

Google TV Ads didn't get as much attention as other parts of the company's advertising network, but Google stayed with the effort for several years after shutting down similar services for print and radio advertising in 2009.

The ad platform was expected to get a big boost from Google TV, the Web giant's high-profile attempt to marry the PC-based Internet and the traditional television world. However, Google TV got off to a rocky start, and the search giant is still trying to get the big media companies to warm up to the software platform.