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Google’s YouTube has begun testing a dramatic departure in content and advertising, adding 15 50-minute TV episodes from Star Trek, Beverly Hills 90210, and MacGyver and with prominent new ads. The videos include pre-roll and post-roll advertising, as well as mid-roll ads during the content.

“As we test this new format, we also want to ensure that our partners have more options when it comes to advertising on their full-length TV shows,” Google said.

Why blog this? It is clear that Google need to explore the possibilities of monetisation for the increasing amount of full-length content which networks and producers are putting online. For commercial entities, this is another great step forwards to help reach a wider audience with relative ease, and lower cost to distribution.

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Google and T-Mobile have just announced the launch of the G1, the world’s first device running Android. Android is the new mobile software platform which Google have created via its ‘Open Handset Alliance’, an open source platform which will allow developers to create applications for phones which utilise most of the handset’s capability.

Why blog this? Well, it is arguably the most important piece of software released this year, and has the potential to revolutionise the way we see mobile as a hardware device. Allowing developers, any developer, not just those employed by the hardware manafacturers, means anyone with a good idea can create an application for the phone, including branded, context specific applications and widgets for any use, and control the way in which the user interacts with the application and phone, rather than being restricted to a certain interface or paradigm.

Seth Macfarlane, creator of cult hit Family Guy, has teamed up with Google Adsense to create ‘Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy‘, a number of shortform animated clips served through the Google Adsense delivery platform. Rather than serving a Google Ad, the content posted on supporting sites is a short cartoon, such as the one featured here, along with a pre-roll advert from the current sponsor, who are currently Burger King.

Why blog this? Whilst the primary delivery is through Google, many Family Guy/MacFarlane fans are linking to, or posting the videos on their own blogs – leading to the question, is this a cartoon with an advert at the start, or an advert with a cartoon at the end? In any case, when users are actively embedding advertising sponsored content in their own spaces, not to mention those advertisers who make revenue share from the placements, this is a very interesting new step for funded content.