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Google Wants Its MTV

By: David Utter

Google and Viacom's MTV Networks have a deal in place to distribute three programs across the Internet by syndicating them throughout its network.

Google Wants Its MTVWhen Google (GOOG) announced earlier this year it would begin to deliver video advertising to the placements on sites and blogs throughout its partner network, it looked like a matter of time before the company made a deal with a big name firm to drive the technology.

They did just that, with the news of its partnership with Viacom's (VIA.B) MTV Networks making the rounds over the weekend.

"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 CEO Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal. "If this works, it would be a very large business for all players."

A trio of MTV programs will be part of the video ad trial, to begin in August. "Laguna Beach" and "SpongeBob SquarePants" have been mentioned as a couple of the shows that will be delivered in short, four- to five-minute clips, preceded by an advertisement, to sites like Popsugar and Rapgodfather.

Targeting sites like these will be part of the overarching strategy to draw viewers of those short clips away from niche sites, if only briefly, to the ad-supported properties Viacom operates. The company runs a pair of broadband video channels, TurboNick and MTV Overdrive, that are well-suited to matching Viacom's advertisers with their desired young demographic.

Google will earn its return up front, compensated for the ad space used when delivering those video shorts. Viacom gains added exposure through the network, sizable enough that it can claim a reach of millions of visitors month after month. How well that exposure leads viewers to Viacom will determine the success of Viacom's initiative here.

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