Google Grows Video Content Network, Runs Its Own Video Spots

Expanding on an ad-supported video network offering that got its start last summer, Google is now delivering clips from Condé Nast, Dow Jones and Company’s WSJ.com and other content providers across sites in its AdSense network.

The video ads, which have been sold both by Google and its content partners, run within video clips served in Google AdSense ad placements. Ad revenue is shared with both content providers and network sites featuring the Google-served video.

In one current example, a unit featuring 19 music videos, including one from Warner Bros. Records band Muse, is running on fashion site Adversus. A spot for Burger King’s BK Stackers was served between videos.

WSJ.com’s non-business video content in the Arts and Leisure, Pursuits, Health and Wellness and Opinion categories will now be delivered to AdSense network sites, according to a Dow Jones Online spokesperson. The publisher also distributes its video content through the Brightcove ad network and uses Blinkx‘s video search technology to make video more accessible on its own sites.

A Condé Nast spokesperson confirmed the publisher would be distributing its video through the Google network, and added, “at this point we’re not ready to share any additional details on this program.” According to a New York Times report, Sony BMG Music Entertainment has also joined Google as a video content partner. Google did not respond to interview requests from ClickZ News.

Google’s objective is to woo bigger brand advertisers that don’t spend much on the search firm’s more ubiquitous text ads. However, the lack of control over where ads appear when served through video ad networks could be a deterrent for some media planners. Sacha Xavier, regional lead for advanced marketing solutions at Avenue A/Razorfish, has incorporated video into branding campaigns for clients like Verizon. But she prefers a more hands-on, customized approach than networks typically can provide.

“Oftentimes when you’re running video, you’re running it for branding campaigns,” Xavier said. “We like to really custom tailor it and create a video message that works for the site in which we run. Running my video across multiple sites on a network doesn’t allow for that.”

In August, Google unveiled its video distribution trial through a partnership with Viacom’s MTV Networks. Short clips from Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” MTV’s “Laguna Beach: The Real OC” and promos for the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards were distributed throughout the network.

The growing content network allows Google’s video partners to monetize the distribution of their product. This comes at a time when Google-owned YouTube has alienated media firms, most notably Viacom, for not providing a cut of ad money generated through their content posted by users to YouTube.

Google is running its own video ad campaign for its Gmail service. Ads on WSJ.com display a series of quirky video spots featuring puppets, and allow users to browse through tips for using the e-mail service.

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