MTVN, Google Form Video Alliance

BOSTON Google and MTV Networks today said they would test an online video distribution system designed to serve consumers, Web publishers and advertisers.

Google plans to distribute ad-supported content from MTVN to targeted site publishers, allowing them to showcase clips from various programs.

As part of the deal, episodes from popular MTVN shows would be made available on a download-to-own basis via Google Video.

According to MTVN, the alliance would give users new ways to experience content and create targeted marketing vehicles for advertisers, as well as promote MTVN programming.

The companies expect to test the model this month.

“Collaborating with Google gives us a terrific opportunity to take our content and distribute it even more widely on the web in a seamless and targeted way,” said Tom Freston, president and CEO of MTVN parent Viacom, in a statement.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, said, “With the combination of our video technology, and extensive advertiser and publisher network, Google is in a leading position to help content owners, Web publishers and advertisers generate interest and increase revenue opportunities.”

MTVN programming that initially will be distributed via Google Video and targeted publishers includes clips from Laguna Beach, SpongeBob SquarePants, the upcoming Scandalicious Show and the MTV Video Music Awards.

“We are content people who make great creative product for all platforms,” said Judy McGrath, CEO, MTV Networks. “Our brands are great navigation tools for our audiences, and this deal with Google will enable us to follow and lead them to new places.”

MTVN shows available on a download-to-own basis would cost $1.99 per episode. Initial series include offerings from Comedy Central (such as Chappelle’s Show and South Park), as well as programs running on MTV, MTV2 and Nickelodeon.

—Adweek staff report