Mountain View (CA) - Google today announced that it will begin offering free music video streams from the catalogs of Sony BMG and Warner (WMG). Advertising will create another opportunity for the parties to monetize content, which is also planned to be made available to website owners who participate in Google's Ad-sense network.
Music and video publishers are slowly discovering a new, slightly neglected revenue stream for their content. So, far premium commercial content is mostly offered for a fee and typically without advertising - not only in download services such as Itunes, but also more open destinations such as Google Video. But a new agreement between Google, Sony BMW and WMG indicates that a more traditional, advertising-supported format will become more important in the future.
The search engine said that it has reached "strategic business relationships" which will allow users not only to buy music videos from both publishers for $2, but also to stream free versions of videos. Google so far has posted a very limited selection of free videos, including Madonna's Hung up, Justin Timeberlake's SexyBack and Green Day's Jesus of Suburbia, which is planned to be complemented by "thousands" of more videos by the end of the month.
According to Google spokeswoman Jennifer Hakes, the new free videos will not replace the currently offered $2 "download-to-own" videos, but are intended to diversify revenue streams. The company plans to leverage its advertiser network to integrate video advertising into the video streams. Hakes said that Google has not yet determined, if these ads will be pre-roll, post-roll versions or if they will be integrate somewhere within the video. The search engine and music publishers will share the revenue generated by the service. The first batch of music videos does not include advertising segments.
The music video content will also be extended to participants of Google's Ad-sense network, the search engine said, providing website owners an additional source of revenue.