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This article describes companies helping user search video on the internet. For the larger impact of IPTV, see Online Video.
See chart below for quick list of companies and valuations.
AGNOSTIC VIDEO SEARCH Several sites have developed video search systems that are agnostic (meaning the sites don't host video, and therefore present search returns free of any additional promotional imperatives, i.e.: pushing their own videos to the top of the list):
Blinkx.com - uses speech recognition to "pull" voice to text. The system searches speech-text in a mostly reverse chron search methodology, powering several video content sites such as a youth-oriented video search site, its own blinkx.com site, and Ask.com, to name but a few. Microsoft has acquired an "option" to use them in the future. Overall, the company has 130 partnerships with video hosters. Blinkx spiders sites it has partnerships with, but appears to have unstructured data. Blinkx offers a straight search solution on its website.
Founded in 2003 by Suranga Chandratillake, a former Autonomy employee, Blinkx was originally a web search toolbar (including video as one type of toolbar search). The company took $10 million in "angle funding" (presumably from Autonomy) and then in April 2007 Autonomy called it's 90% option to buy back Blinkx shares, in exchange for Autonomy's search engine license. Autonomy rolled its other consumer search properties in with Blinkx' video search, and then Blinkx.com was "demerged" in May, 2007 on the AIM penny stock market in London. Blinkx has a market cap of $250m as of July, 2007.
Dabble.com - uses human powered search. It takes gestures and structured metadata to search and discover video. Searches the data around the video as well as gives relevance to videos with human preference activity inside Dabble and outside in other communities and blogs. Dabble also has a social community element, grouping videos in order to convey more implicit data to the search and discovery system. This community aspect allows Dabble to focus on the additional challenge of video discovery, by offering users easy ways to browse videos based upon human activity and preferences. Founded in 2005 by Mary Hodder, Dabble has taken $800k in angel funding. Dabble has partnerships with 150 video hosting sites and receives video from 7,000+ sources.
NON-AGNOSTIC VIDEO SEARCH
Video search function blended with hosted video by the same company:
Video.Google.com or Google - Google purchased YouTube and started Google Video in 2005 (a hosting site for user generated video). Based on its flagship search engine, the company's video search engine searches videos beyond the YouTube and Google Video collections, but Google's own hosted videos always come up first as the most relevant results. Only a few other sites are included in Google Video Search, such as Break.com and Metacafe.com. Unlike Google's websearch, google.com, Google Video Search is not agnostic. Google's video search appears to use the PageRank algorithm of relevance, after presorting for Google hosted video, and then matches metadata for video. Google's video search returns are unstructured, excepting those videos it hosts, because it relies on spidering technology.
Truveo.com or Searchvideo.com - was founded in 2004 by Tim Tuttle. In December 2005, AOL purchased Truveo for $50 million, after it had taken about $1m in funding. Truveo has open API's for search, and is distributed as the search solution across all of the AOL properties, except one which is a children's site and is powered by Blinkx. Truveo searches 22 million videos as of July 2007 from across the web. Truveo spiders data and appears to search on metadata, although early reports of its technology included it's ability to break the header of a Window's media file in order to access anything contained in the header. Truveo offers some discovery offerings but these are very limited.
|Company||Agnostic||Stage||Number of Clips indexed||Data Quality|
|Blinkx (Lon:BLNX)||yes|| Public
|185 million (but they claim "18 million hours" of video)||Spidered data|
|Video.Google.com||no||Public|| 80 million (blend with search results
inflates count heavily)
|Dabble||yes||Angel / Private||17 million||Structured Data|
|Truveo / Searchvideo.com||no||Public (AOL)||180 million videos||Spidered Data|