Social networking site Bebo has announced it is teaming up with Sony’s Crackle video distribution channel to offer three customized programmed channels: Sketch Comedy from Crackle,Indie Music from Crackle, and Animation from Crackle. Each channel will enable Bebo users to sign up as fans (so they’ll know when content is updated) and will carry Crackle’s advertising to Bebo users by embedding Crackle’s proprietary media player right in Bebo pages. Content for the channels will be selected by Crackle from Crackle’s existing Spotlight and Featured content offerings.
"Crackle is at the forefront of creating groundbreaking independent entertainment and we’re excited to have their team of editors deliver video content tailor-made for the Bebo community," said Bebo president Joanna Shields, in a statement. "With Open Media, Beboers can now enjoy a custom Crackle media experience."
Bebo currently boasts about 40 million members, and skews towards a college-aged audience. The partnership could be a harbinger of things to come, since it may represent the first time a social networking site has enabled a third party content channel to push through advertising, rather than participate in the social networking site’s own advertising programs. This is a clear win for Crackle: "Bebo’s Open Media provides a perfect opportunity for Crackle and Crackle’s advertisers to expand distribution to an additional 40 million eyeballs," said Crackle senior VP of marketing Jonathan Shambroom. Bebo gets to offer Sony’s Crackle content without pushing users off the Bebo site. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal, so it’s unknown which way (or how much) money is flowing in this arrangement.