Speculation continues to swirl among bloggers and tech-industry watchers like TechCrunch that Google may soon make a move into the custom magazine market. The company was granted a patent earlier this month that would enable its users to search for content on the Internet and create a custom magazine that includes custom advertising content.
"The concept is novel and I can see content providers and advertisers lining up around the block already," blogger David Harry wrote. "Given the recent proliferation of Google in the world(s) of computers and cell phones, there are more than a few ways to deliver the product and access the world’s information junkies."
The patent, titled "Customization of Content and Advertisements in Publications," says publishers "often lack insight into the profiles of consumers who purchase their publications, and, accordingly, miss out on subscription and advertisement revenue due to a lack of personalized content and advertisement." Google’s answer might be to let users create their own magazines and receive an electronic or hard copy of the final product. Users could potentially create and print these publications at kiosks in supermarkets or in stores like Target, according to the patent.
In addition to the editorial content, creating custom advertising would be an equally important feature for Google. "Likewise, consumer targeting for advertisers is limited, and there is virtually no standardization for ad sizes (e.g., an ad that is supposed to be a full page may need to be reduced in size to fit within a publication)," the patent reads. "Accordingly, advertisers sometimes purchase sub-optimal or worthless ad space in an attempt to reach their target markets. Advertisers also have difficulty identifying new prospective market segments to target because they have limited insight into the desires and reactions of consumers."
The patent was granted November 8 and so far there is no sign from Google that the company is moving in this direction. It could be years, one blogger wrote, before Google attempts to offer this service. A Google representative was not immediately available for comment.