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Truveo, the video search engine that's spent the last 18 months powering other sites, is set to unveil Thursday its new strategy to be a destination site for videos across the Web. While many companies opt to provide software and services as a third-party provider -- which is often the easier road to take given how difficult it is to gain traction as an online destination site - Truveo apparently sees the opportunity to dominate a space that has not produced any clear winners. Truveo, which was sold to AOL last year for $50 million, now has 40 million monthly unique visitors, 40 million videos indexed across the Web, about double the number of videos a couple months ago. Half the videos come from user-generated video sites, like YouTube.com.
Clearly, Tim Tuttle, Truveo's co-founder and CEO and SVP of AOL video doesn't want to end up like Inktomi, the hot Web search engine that could have been the top consumer destination search engine if it didn't lose its way by focusing on providing third-party features for other portals, such as Yahoo. Google started off providing search for other companies as well. But kept its eye on providing search to consumers, a strategy that ostensibly paid off. "Google started out as a search engine to other sites," said Tuttle. "They got all their traffic because they powered AOL and Yahoo. We're trying to go down a similar road. Build our traffic by powering other sites first. Then take the expertise and build our site."
Tuttle said that Truveo will continue to power video search for its clients, which include AOL, Microsoft's Live Search, MSN video, Qwest Communications, CNet and Brightcove. Truveo plans to share advertising dollars, much like search engines today. But at this point, there really isn't much to share. "We don't pay our partners anything because there are not a lot of advertising dollars... (down the road), we'll probably give more (ads) to the publisher."
So, is it better to be a destination than a third-party provider? "Traffic is traffic," said Tuttle. "If the traffic is on the third-party site, you can monetize it as long as they have tracion. If they're on you're on site, you make even more." (Watch my interview with Tuttle. Click here for that interview)
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