Google and MacFarlane Cut Web Video Distribution Deal

Posted on June 30, 2008

Google and Seth MacFarlane have cut a distribution deal that will send fifty short two-minute episodes of a MacFarlane-created show called Cavalcade screaming around Google's AdSense network. It's an interesting use of the AdSense network and one that is likely to garner Google new content partners if it is successful.

Silicon Alley Insider notes that Kim Malone Scott from Google Adsense boldly claims that Google has just "recreated the mass media." Silicon Alley Insider also notes that MacFarlane is wisely keeping his hefty Family Guy job with Fox.

Lots of interesting implications here for publishers, content creators and advertisers here if this takes off. Google's Kim Malone Scott, who runs sales for AdSense, modestly suggests "we have recreated the mass media."

But one thing isn't changing in the short term: If content creators want big paychecks, they had better stick with big media. MacFarlane's deal with Google is a side project, not one that will interfere with his day job working for Rupert Murdoch's Fox network. Good call: The Times notes that he's just signed a multiyear deal with Fox that will pay him more than $100 million.

It is certainly a unique deal and it will be fascinating to see how it all pans at both for Google and MacFarlane but also for the future of online video. Eric Berlin at Online Media Cultist points out that the "quality of the new show is obviously going to affect how popular it is, but more than likely that won't be a huge factor in the overall storyline." This is a good point because the public often surprises TV execs with what shows they love or hate. Unfortunately, sometimes shows people love are also canceled because of these same TV execs. How this all translates to online media remains to be seen.

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