Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane has launched his new site, which focuses on ad-supported comedy shorts, located at sethcomedy.com. The site's offerings, titled "Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy," is part of Google's Content Network, which in turn is part of Google's AdSense network. There are currently only two videos available (plus a couple of teasers for the site), but more are expected to roll out over the coming weeks.
McFarlane's plans were originally announced back in July, along with the Google deal, which would run his (total) 50 mini-episodes across what's expected to be "thousands" of websites that his target audience frequents. The episodes are short, ranging from under a minute to no more than two, and so far, they only consist of a preroll sponsorship-type ad (which is animated in McFarlane's style, so it's not very jarring at all) before the actual video. For now, the two available shorts are sponsored by Burger King, and they are cross-posted to the "BK Channel" on YouTube.
As with much web video these days, episodes of the Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy can be shared with friends and embedded onto blogs and websites. The interesting part of the deal, however, is the revenue distribution. The videos will be run on sites across the web, basically as both content and advertising. Each time a viewer clicks on a Cavalcade video or ad, advertisers will pay a fee that gets split between MacFarlane, Google, the production company partner Media Rights, and the site hosting the video. Media Rights declined in July to offer details on pricing for ads in the Cavalcade series, saying only that its rates are "significantly higher" than if the same ad was placed in AdSense alone.
While Google tested the waters with its Google Content Network in May via a deal to distribute real estate listings from the Washington Post, McFarlane's venture is a significant step in original Internet distribution both for Google and the TV industry. Some networks have dipped their toes in the Internet-only distribution pool, but Cavalcade is the first series with major funding in both advertising and production, not to mention a well-known celebrity behind the efforts.
Just one example of Cavalcade’s offerings
Whether or not you dig McFarlane's style of humor, the novel approach to content distribution could help change how content creators and advertisers approach this kind of thing in the future. Videos don't have to be limited to a kiddie pool of online destinations—paired with advertising, they can be blasted across the web as ads themselves.Posted on