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Google to Distribute MTV Networks Video Content Over AdSense Network

Google has struck a deal with Viacom Inc. to distribute clips from MTV Networks over its AdSense advertising network, according to Reuters. It's the first time Google will distribute ad-supported video content over AdSense, which currently delivers targeted text and banner ads to websites.

MTV will keep most of the ad revenue, with the rest being split between Google and its affliate sites, MTV Networks president Michael Wolf told the news service. The content set for the trial, which will begin later this month, includes MTV's Laguna Beach and clips promoting the MTV Video Music Awards, as well as excerpts from Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants.

"The basis of the internet is shifting from text to video," Wolf told Reuters. "This is the first way to distribute our content widely across the internet."

Sites that are part of the AdSense network will be able to embed an MTV-branded video player directly on their sites, the news service reported. MTV's sales force would sell the ads that appear in the video clips.Under the terms of the agreement, Google can only distribute the MTV Networks content to sites with 100,000 or more visitors per month; some of the first participants include Lyrics.com and Hiphopgame.com.

The trial could represent a step towards the first solid business model to arise out of the skyrocketing popularity of online video. Though YouTube still leads the internet video sites in terms of the number of clips it serves, the company has yet to demonstrate a solid business model, despite advertising and promotional deals with Disney and NBC. YouTube has generated some controversy by allowing the posting of copyrighted video content from television networks to be posted without the networks' permission.

If the test proves successful, Google plans to open up the system to other video programmers as well as to add ad-supported content to the Google Video site, according to The New York Times.

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