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Google Starting VC Firm: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer March 31, 2009

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Disney and Google have signed a deal to bring the famed entertainment company's content to YouTube. As expected, the short-form deal includes content from ESPN, SOAPnet, The Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC News, and ABC Entertainment.

Google has begun giving Chinese users links to free music. In accordance, the search giant has teamed with Sony BMG, EMI, Universal, and Warner Music Group to provide Chinese users with free and legal music downloads. The groundbreaking deal is Google's attempt at playing catch up to a web search marketplace dominated by Baidu.

Google is expected to announce that it will commit $100 million to a venture capital fund. The new fund, to be called Google Ventures, is expected to manage for returns, a break from how traditional venture capital firms handle backing start-ups. Google will team with William Marris and former Google exec Rich Miner to jump start the firm.

The 2008 Internet Advertising Revenue Report notes that interactive ad sales were up in 2008. However, like most forms of advertising, due to the economic crisis web ad growth slowed in 2008, with a total of $23.4 billion spent, a 10% increase over 2007. Besides cable advertising, which grew 7.8% in 2008, internet advertising is the only form of advertising which grew in 2008.

NBC and DirecTV have renewed Friday Night Lights for two seasons. The popular TV show will air in an untraditional way, premiering on DirecTV before its broadcast on NBC, a paradigm the two media companies used for the third season of Friday Night Lights. Produced by Universal Media Studios and Imagine TV, Friday Night Light's currently draws approximately 4.5 million viewers on NBC, a 27% decline from its 6.2 million viewer average last year.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at

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