McFarlane’s Cavalcade Racks Up 14M Views


The first six shorts in Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy animated series were watched more than 14 million times during the show’s first three weeks, according to Media Rights Capital, one of the partners behind the series.

Fourteen million is an impressive number, but that’s not the full story. What’s most interesting about Cavalcade was its distribution strategy. The shorts are distributed via Seth MacFarlane’s, Seth MacFarlane’s YouTube Channel, Burger King’s (which sponsored the first ten episodes of the series) YouTube channel, as well as through the Google Content Network, which delivered the shorts as ad units to targeted web sites through Google AdSense.

What we don’t know is the breakdown of plays across this distribution network. We can count up the number of plays publicly listed on the two YouTube channels (more than 13 million, if you’re curious, but that includes plays after the first three weeks). does not list playcounts, so we don’t know how many videos were watched there.

But the real unknown is how many plays were generated through AdSense delivery. Do the views show up in the YouTube channel counts? How effective is it as a distribution mechanism? We pinged YouTube and Media Rights Capital for answers, and will update when we hear back.



14MM streams at a $10 CPM is $140,000. For 10 videos, that’s $14,000 each. With production costs previously reported in the $50k range, that would mean burger king would need to pay a $35/CPM just to break even on production costs! When you include all the other parties that need to get paid in this structure (talent, financier, google and publishers), I would love for someone to explain to me how the economics work for this. It makes a great story but it’s a nonsensical business model.

Comments are closed.