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Google, "Family Guy" Creator Bring New Cartoon Series to Internet


June 30, 2008

Google, "Family Guy" Creator Bring New Cartoon Series to Internet

By Michael Dinan
TMCnet Editor


Google (News - Alert) is teaming up with the creator of TV’s irreverent “Family Guy” cartoon to do something no one’s been able to figure out The New York Times is reporting today: draw substantial advertisers by offering original Internet content.

The advertising giant’s so-called “Google Content Network” reportedly will sell advertising spots for a project called “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” – an animated series that will appear exclusively on the Internet.
In a break from recent trends where original Internet content fails to attract serious advertising dollars, analysts say, the MacFarlane product is drawing big bucks.
“We believe the revenue could be formidable,” Karl Austen, a lawyer who worked on the deal, reportedly told the Times. “What is exciting is that this is a way to monetize the Internet immediately. Instead of creating a Web site and hoping Seth’s fans find it, we are going to push the content to where people are already at.”
Here’s how Google reportedly plans to distribute the new cartoons, a series of 50 2-minute episodes.
The company will use its “AdSense” advertising system to find Web sites that serve MacFarlane fans, mostly young men – but instead of putting an ad on a Web page, Google will place a “Cavalcade” video clip that’s laden with advertising, according to the Times.
In some cases, the Times says, the clip will include “preroll” ads, which ask viewers to sit through a TV-style commercial before getting to the video. Or some advertisers may opt for a banner to be placed at the bottom of the video clip or a simple “brought to you by” note at the beginning, the Times says.
It isn’t clear just how much money advertisers have agreed to pay for a spot, but the Times says some deals are among AdSense’s largest ever.
“Cavalcade” marks a break from traditional original Internet pieces, according at to the Times. MacFarlane is a household name, and the series cost millions to produce.
“We feel that we have recreated the mass media,” Kim Malone Scott, director of sales and operations for AdSense, reportedly told the newspaper.
Officials from Media Rights Capital, a boutique production company that has the ability to invest about $400 million a year in movies, television and Internet episodes, say they’ve found a sustainable business model with the Google Content Network, according to the Times: Every time someone clicks on one of the syndicated videos, the associated advertiser pays a fee, with shares going to MacFarlane, Media Rights, Google and the Web site that generated the click.
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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