Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Google Adsense & Creator of Family Guy Make High Budget Webisodes

Seth MacFarlane, creator of the Fox's hit cartoon comedy 'Family Guy', has a bit of time in between contracts with Fox. Even after successfully negotiating a new, nine figure, multi year contract with the media conglomerate... Seth still wants more. But, not just more money, more raunchy humor and coarse language – freed from the FCC's watchful eye over network television.

That's where his new project “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” comes in, it will be distributed on the Internet via Google AdSense, and will be free to watch ('after a word from our sponsor').

The ads will run as videos before the show or banner ads at the bottom of the video's window during the show. Using Google’s massive amount of marketing data, the cartoon shorts will be place on sites that directly target Seth’s audience of mainly young men.

The ads, at times, may be hard to distinguish from the actual content. Seth will also be animating some of the characters in the ads, added even more revenue to his coffers and AdSense’s.

MacFarlane, who will see a percentage of ad revenue, has created a stable of new characters to star in the series. These will truly be shorts; Seth described the installments as “animated versions of the one-frame cartoons you might see in The New Yorker, only edgier.”

The shorts will be served up in 50 two-minute episodes as opposed to the older Webisodes format of longer episodes broken up into short installments. MacFarlane flat rejected the older format as not making any sense saying, “Why wouldn’t you just release the whole thing at once?”

In developing this new form of distribution, Google and MacFarlane have created a Business model that allows for multimillion-dollar web-only productions, a real Internet first.

This original content distributed through AdSense means thousands of sites will be displaying “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy”, simultaneously. Opposed to only having one website where folks can go to watch, these videos will be pretty much everywhere all at once.

With AdSense, ever time a mouse clicks an advertiser gets to pay, and a consumer is exposed to their brand. Making it a winning proposition for all involved. It’s this kind of thinking that will save many media companies from succumbing to declining ratings and lost ad revenue. I’m just glad Seth MacFarlane got to Google with this idea before Rupert Murdock did.

Source: NYT