Hey Google, What Happened To SpongeBob?

    July 7, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Humorously enough, Google planned to go the video distribution route a couple of years ago, similar to their plans for Seth McFarlane’s online-only comedy series.

With Viacom and Google at each other’s throats in a billion dollar lawsuit, one that escalated in contentiousness when Viacom won the right to YouTube’s viewer details in server logs, it’s surprising to think how they were nearly close companions on the road to online video profitability.

But as WatchMojo pointed out, Google’s Eric Schmidt and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston nearly connected in 2006 on a similar deal, disclosed in August 2006:

Google has struck a deal to allow Web site owners to put video clips from Viacom, including “SpongeBob SquarePants” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” on their pages. The clips will be accompanied by advertising, with Viacom, Google and the site owners dividing the ad revenue.

One month later, Freston received a Labor Day dismissal from Viacom topper Sumner Redstone. No SpongeBob in Google AdSense, no Laguna Beach either.

With McFarlane creating original content with a substantial budget, there’s no Viacom or other media titan to overshadow Google’s newest foray into content distribution. All McFarlane’s “Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” will need is an audience that responds to the accompanying advertising.