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Up to 40 to lose jobs as Google scraps radio ads

More economic reality sets in at Google as the company plans to exit the radio ad business. But a new team will build technology for streaming audio ads.

Google's radio advertising business has become the newest project that didn't pass muster in Google's new financially rigorous era, and up to 40 employees will lose jobs as a result, the company said Thursday. However, the company isn't completely withdrawing from the market, saying it's begun exploring ads for streaming audio instead.

"While we've devoted substantial resources to developing these products and learned a lot along the way, we haven't had the impact we hoped for. So we have decided to exit the broadcast radio business and focus our efforts in online streaming audio," said Susan Wojcicki, Google's vice president of product management, in a blog post Thursday. "We will phase out the existing Google Audio Ads and AdSense for Audio products and plan to sell the Google Radio Automation business, the software that automates broadcast radio programming."

And cuts will come: "We hope to find other roles for the majority of the people concerned and will work to make that happen over the next couple of months. However, given that we are exiting the broadcast radio ad business and selling the Radio Automation business, we expect that up to 40 people may not be able to find other roles at Google."

Google said employees will have about two months to apply for new jobs within the company. The service itself will shut down May 31.

The search giant has more than 20,000 employees, so losing 40 isn't very many in the scheme of things. However, it's bigger than the full staff of a lot of start-ups, and the cut is notable given Google's willingness for years to tackle an immense spectrum of projects.

Google already said it's cancelling its print-ad service, which like radio is a step away from the Internet domain where Google has the home-field advantage over some rivals. The company will continue to invest in its TV ad business, though, Wojcicki said.