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Google Video Steps Up Profile with Everybody Hates Chris Premiere

In late September, UPN leveraged streaming video’s audience reach and marketing might by offering the premiere episode of Everybody Hates Chris through Google Video. The 22-minute episode was shown in its entirety as a marketing tool to help build interest in the show and drive viewers to watch the second installment on UPN. "This was a way of reaching beyond our audience at UPN.com, which is why we went with a third party," says a UPN spokesperson.

There were many avenues through which this content could have been distributed, though UPN chose to partner with Google. "We did talk to everybody, but the deal we worked out with Google was the best for all parties," says the same spokesperson. "This type of thing has been done before, but it was a first for UPN and a first for Google."

Google has had talks with a host of content providers, but never before has it progressed to the level of full-scale deployment. "This relationship with UPN was the first time we worked with a big-time media company," says Peter Chane, senior business product manager for Google Video. "We’re excited to be working with UPN, and we hope it’s a sign of things to come."

Small Step, Big Feet
Though still a relative newcomer to the video distribution arena, Google has stepped into the ring with a compelling solution that combines high-quality streaming with low barriers to entry and a wide reach. "We built a system that allows anyone to get worldwide distribution for their content on Google," says Chane. "We’re looking at all content, not just Hollywood content, from individuals who do video production to small companies to Fortune 500s.

"We’re really trying to act as a conduit between consumers who want to get access to content and producers who want to promote their brand around their video," Chane continues. "We’re exploring a bunch of things to make sure that we provide a great user experience and a level of control that the content community would like to have."

While Google is soliciting content at all levels, premium content like Everybody Hates Chris offers the biggest potential gains and poses the greatest challenges. And what content providers will be most interested in is how they can generate revenue off of their digital assets. This first foray into premium content distribution did not include the packaging of advertising in or around the show. That said, "We are definitely committed to running through the various monetization options," says Chane. "We want to provide the content community with all sorts of ways to monetize their content."

Google’s Still Google
Not surprisingly, Google is focused on providing a positive user experience as the company builds its video delivery credentials. "What we’re learning is that users want access to content through a number of means," says Chane. "With Everybody Hates Chris, it was on the previous week, so now if users missed it or want to watch it again, they can through Google Video."

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