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Google Video Goes High Brow with Revenue Split

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While the launch of Brightcove has garnered no shortage of attention today, it wasn’t the only important video news of the day. Google’s first “Sponsored Video” had its debut as well. Titled The Domino Effect, it’s Diet Coke and Mentos part II from the guys in white lab coats – EepyBird. Sponsored of course by Coca Cola and Mentos. What portion of the ad money goes to the video creators hasn’t been disclosed.

The original Diet Coke and Mentos video that the pair made was much more entertaining and brought them a reported $35,000 when they posted that video on Revver. Reeling in viral video stars with promises of revenue sharing has been Revver’s strategy – apparently they got beat at their own game when EepyBird got this Coke, Mentos and Google deal.

The official Google Blog said today that this was just the first of what they hoped would be many Sponsored Videos. This is not a long tail approach that’s being taken so far to monetize Google Video content. People interested in participating in the Sponsored Video program are directed to a Google Video page that says it is for publishers with more than 1000 hours of video available. The advertising on the EepyBird video is a very produced post-roll. This isn’t massive upload of user generated video content with AdSense wrapped around it. Perhaps that will be the role of YouTube and Google Video will be for relatively high-brow, formally produced video footage.

It’s fascinating to see Google, the creator of possibly the best long tail monetization engine in history, launching a video program focused on elite producers only. On the same day Brightcove launched a free for all network aimed at a much larger number of video producers and Metacafe took the bulk approach with their new Producer Rewards program. Metacafe is paying publishers $5 for every thousand views of a video after the first 20,000.

I’m sure that things will change with time, but perhaps Google has come to terms with the fact that hipness isn’t what its in-house video service has to offer. Perhaps it’s class they are seeking. If, in this world today, high class means hundreds of exploding Diet Coke bottles followed by an advertisement then perhaps what they are doing makes sense. Whether Google can split large advertising revenues with elite amateur video producers and build and sustain a vibrant, creative and authentic video community out of that is doubtful. The second EepyBird video sure felt stale.

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