Google Tests Marriage of Video Content and AdSense Network

Google has expanded its video syndication tests, providing video content from publishers to select sites in its AdSense Network and marrying that content to advertising. A new four-week trial to begin on January 31, 2007.

Under the test, Google will bundle “video channels” from partners Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and others, with advertisements that will then be distributed to hundreds of participating Web sites across multiple genres, according to the company. Revenue will split three ways between the content owner, the site publisher and Google. Ads will be billed on a cost per thousand model.

“It’s creating an automated way for content holders to bundle that content and advertisers to target that content,” said Brandon McCormick, a spokesperson for Google. “Everything we do has to scale. If you can’t scale it and create an easy automated way of inputting data, or targeting, there’s not that much value in it for the user and value to Google. This is a way to scale content distribution and advertising.”

Google launched its click-to-play video ads product in May 2006 as its first foray into video advertising, and then went on to partner with Viacom’s MTV Networks to distribute ad-supported video to a number of sites. This latest effort is separate from the MTV relationship.

“It’s not an extension of that arrangement, but an extension of the concept,” said McCormick.

The company’s experiments place it into competition with Brightcove, Maven and other firms that have developed platforms designed to manage video syndication online. Brightcove, the best established of the group, recently won a $59.5 million funding round.

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