Truveo out, Blinkx in for AOL video search

Nathan Pensky · February 13, 2012 · Short URL:

Blinkx shares spiked this morning as the announcement of the AOL video search partnership broke

AOL announced Monday that it has partnered with Blinkx, to will replace Truveo as AOL's video search feature. The company announced that it will incorporate Blinkx's 35 million hours of content into its search engine. While being only the seventh highest used video search site on the Web, AOL still manages to bring in 450 million video views per month, according to a recent comScore study.

"The partnership is a huge win for blinkx, because in addition to the new audience reach it brings us, we now have access to all of AOL’s video content – a significant, and very high quality library," said a representative from Blinkx to VatorNews.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Blinkx's stock (BLNX) opened this morning at $66.75. But spiked this morning as high as $70.50 following the announcement. Shares have since come down slightly to $67.40, in recent trading.  

Blinkx has its own search engine, as well, which attracts 55 million US viewers per month. It seems as Blinkx will continue as an autonomous site and that AOL will be incorporated into their site. No doubt AOL is trying to replicate the nigh unbeatable search-video one-two punch represented in the acquisition of YouTube by Google.

"Blinkx pioneered video search on the Internet, developing an engine based on technology that was conceived at Cambridge University, enhanced by $150M in R&D over 12 years, and is now protected by 111 patents," said the Blinkx rep to VatorNews. " We see this as a win-win for everyone."

Google currently represents the vast majority of video search, with 21.8 billion videos, 157.2 million unique monthly viewers, and a total of 471.9 minutes per viewer. The next biggest contender in the video search game is VEVO, with only 801.3 million videos and 53.7 million unique monthly viewers.

However, Blinkx believes its search technology is better than Google's. "Unlike Google, [Blinkx] was built from the ground up to search rich media, not text," said the Binkx rep to VatorNews.

"Moreover, Blinkx’s goal is to bring consumers the most relevant video results, from content partners all across the Web, whether that source is a media giant like Bloomberg, or a smaller, independent publisher like CelebTV or Howdini," continued the Blinkx rep. "Blinkx is not a Walled Garden – our technology spiders the entire Web to find the best video results, wherever they’re hosted on the Internet."

AOL's announcement was short and to the point, but one of the few things it mentioned in particular was that its search integrates a "Safe Search" feature, which can be set to block minors from adult-oriented content.

AOL's video search was previously powered by Truveo, which it acquired back in 2006 for $50 million. Truveo reportedly will be shuttered, though this is not confirmed by either company.

One report has suggested that the partnership between AOL and Blinkx represents that latest tactic taken by sites wanting to challenge YouTube's dominance in the video search realm. As this report points out, videos that are not posted on YouTube can easily get lost in the shuffle, and yet those that are posted to YouTube are subject to the site's embedded video ads.

Thus, the AOL/Blinkx partnership is an example of an attempt to combine viewerships to challenge that system, which neither could hope to do individually.

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