The "Family Guy" Strikes A Side Deal With Google, Keeps His $100M Day Job With Fox

Seth “Family Guy” MacFarlane’s new deal with Google, laid out in the NYT today, sounds very interesting. The broad strokes:

  • MacFarlane is making 50 two-minute episodes of “Cavalcade”, a new animated series he’s cooked up.
  • Google distributes the clips via its AdSense network, and places ads on them. Revenue is split between AdSense publishing partners, Google, MacFarlane and Media Rights Capital, the company that sells the ads and funds the clips’ production.
  • MacFarlane will also create custom animated ads for sponsors for a significant extra fee.

Lots of interesting implications here for publishers, content creators and advertisers here if this takes off. Google’s Kim Malone Scott, who runs sales for AdSense, modestly suggests “we have recreated the mass media.”

But one thing isn’t changing in the short term: If content creators want big paychecks, they had better stick with big media. MacFarlane’s deal with Google is a side project, not one that will interfere with his day job working for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network. Good call: The Times notes that he’s just signed a multiyear deal with Fox that will pay him more than $100 million.

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