The hope is that the content will be attractive to advertisers as will its syndication to a targeted set of thousands of web sites where Mr. McFarlane’s target audience (typically young men) tend to gather.
It remains to be seen whether enough advertisers will show an interest in buying pre-roll, bottom banner, or brought-to-you-by style advertising to support Google’s investment.
Extending the unconventional approach is an option for advertisers to work with McFarlane to create animated ads to go with the content (for an extra fee of course).
The one thing the New York Times author appeared to miss, and that Google may miss to, is the ancillary revenue Google stands to earn from incremental PPC or other advertising from increased impressions and clicks on the sites where these sites will likely appear. Google may or may not be able to sufficiently isolate this benefit, but they will still earn the revenue. This additional, difficult to measure, revenue may hold the key to making this experiment a success or a failure.
It is this second revenue source that leads me to think that this Google approach to boosting ad revenue might be a good innovation–if they can find the right content and measure the secondary revenue effects.
What do you think?