Much has been made about the YouTube deal with Seth “Family Guy” McFarlane in which Seth creates VERY short, occassionally funny animated pieces and they are combined with a McFarlane-esque pre-roll ad (this time from Priceline) and distributed via Googles video ad network.
This seems to be working pretty well for them in terms of overall views but I find the presentation to be, well, a total ripoff.
As an example, check out this episode:
If you were paying attention you might have noticed that the pre-roll ad was about 20 seconds and the actual cartoon was also about 20 seconds. That’s a pretty crappy ratio of sales to original content. It doesn’t help that the original content is just kinda funny, if that.
I can’t imagine this is a format that will work for most online webseries. While people do whatever they can to avoid ads on TV they are not going to put up with having to sit through an ad that is as long as the program they wanted to see in the first place online.