Image of one of Google’s new “Listen Now” ads
Search for the name of a musical artist, from “The Beatles” to “Miley Cyrus” to “Camille Saint-Saens,” and Google displays ads – grouped together under the “Listen Now” label — promoting music services, including its own Google Play.
The ads appear in searches on personal computers as well as mobile devices and are performing well for some advertisers, according to one person familiar with the results. Music services previously could have bought similar ads, but the grouping, display and labeling are new.
“We’re happy to help users quickly find legitimate sources for their favorite movies, music and more via Google search,” a Google spokesman said.
Two people familiar with the test described it as having started in the past few weeks. A Google spokesman confirmed that the music services pay for each click they get, the same way Google gets paid for its traditional text link ads.
Similar “Watch Now” ads that appear in searches for movies and TV shows were spotted by Search Engine Land in February.
Google is trying similar approaches with other new ads.
Searches for hotels bring up a box with photos, reviews and a widget where users can enter their travel dates. The widget includes “hotel price ads” that pass the dates directly to the site where users can complete a booking, potentially eliminating some steps.
Likewise, Google’s product listing ads display pictures and prices for an item before users click through to a retailer’s website.