AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT*
(UPDATE: Reuters has an update on this story worth reading).
This could portend big, new changes for the web and traditional media. From the piece:
"In what could be a groundbreaking partnership, Google Inc. has agreed to distribute video programming from Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks to hundreds of Web sites across the Internet.
Under the deal expected to be announced today, Google beginning this month will deliver video clips from programs including "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Laguna Beach" to select Web sites and blogs that belong to its advertising network. Google now uses the network -- made up of thousands of Web sites -- to place paid-search ads on behalf of a vast array of advertisers."
The article continues:
"Google will in effect be syndicating Viacom's programming to the broader Web, allowing the content to reach a much bigger audience than Viacom's own Web sites draw. The clips will be embedded with video advertising and the resulting ad revenue will be shared among Viacom, Google and Web sites that run the clips."
The NY Times piece adds:
"After the test with Viacom, to start at the end of this month, Google hopes to allow any video programmer to use its system to distribute programming with advertising. It also plans to add advertising-supported programs to its own video site."
A few days ago, I talked about a content vacuum on the web that needs to be addressed:
"What vacuum, you ask?
Well, the vacuum created by the relative lack of a wide, deep, affordable, and fast-growing inventory of video content from the traditional media companies.
It's a vacuum created by the defensive mind-set adopted by the mainstream media industry."
At the very least, this move should make it clear to traditional media companies that limiting it's content to be viewed on just their site is potentially akin to cutting their own throat.
They'll need to get comfortable with letting their content be microchunked and widely distributed on the net. Of course with all the protections and revenue-generating advertising they can get away with.
They may break a few eggs, but they could have a hell of an omelet.
As Google CEO Eric Schmidt says in the WSJ article:
""Our technology takes MTV's video, marries it to an ad and shows it on a third site. No one's ever done this before," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in an interview. "If this works, it would be a very large business for all players."
Not clear if the distribution includes mobile phones as well as PCs on the internet, but it'd be logical as an evolutionary step.