Seth McFarlane is known for creating The Family Guy and American Dad. Raven-Symone Pearman is recognized among teen and tween audiences for her staring role on Disney’s “That’s So Raven.” (older audiences may know her from her debut on the Cosby show) Now the two will take their name recognition to a different video format: Internet Video.
In their new venture, McFarlane and Raven-Symone will join forces with Google and film finance company Media Rights Capital (MRC). The deal was announced Thursday. Google will handle distribution. MRC will provide capital (reportedly into the millions). And the talent will provide…talent. There’s just one catch. The content will not be syndicated on YouTube as most would expect.
Instead of relying on Google’s known video property, the partners will instead test a new distribution model using Google’s AdSense platform. The video’s, which will be bundled in a skinned player that shows banner ads, will be embedded on select AdSense publisher websites. In-stream (pre-roll or post roll ad spots that play before or after the content) will also be included.
MRC is not a stranger to advertising. While known principally for its film finance operations, the company is jointly owned by ad agency WPP along with AT&T, Goldman Sach’s and talent agency Endeavor (which happens to represent Raven-Symone as well as other talents ranging from Jessica Alba, Matt Damon and Kiera Knightley to writers like David E. Kelley and Aaron Sorkin). MRC is hoping this will provide an effective way to monetize net video. If successful they may expand it to additional digital offerings.
The programming created for the deal will join the increasing slate of professionally developed Internet content which already includes work from Vuguru, 60 Frames Entertainment, Crackle and mydamnchannel.com
MacFarlane has committed to develop new animated characters for the offering. Raven-Symone is on board to create a “how to” program.