Google, Viacom sign video distribution deal

Janet Babin Aug 7, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: Video Web sites like YouTube are some of the Internet’s most popular destinations. And as more viewers click on over you can bet advertisers will want to follow. Sites that are part of Google’s ad network will soon be able to take that next step. The search company’s teaming up with Viacom’s MTV Networks to offer clips from popular shows. If you watch the ads. From the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio, Janet Babin reports.


JANET BABIN: Web sites already can make money off of Google. Here’s how: They incorporate Google-driven print ads onto their sites. Google supplies the relevant links and when you click on one, the Web site owner makes a few pennies.

Now, in addition, Google ad network Web sites can offer video links, paired with clips from Viacom TV shows.

David Berlind is executive editor of ZDNet.

DAVID BERLIND:“Because the Internet is now capable of delivering video — it’s got the bandwidth to do it — why not liven things up, make the ads a little more interactive and a little more interesting.”

So, if you didn’t have time to tune in to the latest episode of, say, SpongeBob SquarePants, you can catch it online, just by clicking on the sponsored link, and of course, watching the ad.

MTV’s sales staff will sell the ad space. The sponsors will create the video ads. And the Web sites will feature a little Google box that offers the video clip and the ad.

Steven Starr started Revver.com, a site that helps video makers sell their work on the Web. He says as consumers watch less TV and watch more video on Web sites like YouTube, corporate media have to expand access to their content.

STEVEN STARR:“The walled garden is you have to go to a specific place to see a type of content. The Internet was not designed to support that as much as it was designed to allow content to move freely across the network and be seen everywhere.”

This marks the first time that Google will offer big-time sponsored video ads. And it’s the first time that MTV will offer its content beyond its own Web sites.

All three partners in the deal — Viacom’s MTV, Google and Google’s ad network — will share the advertising revenues.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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