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8/29/2006
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Lycos, Blinkx Partner For Video Search

Blinkx can scan video images to more closely match the search query, in part by using the movie's audio to help, the companies said.

Web portal Lycos Inc. launched a broadband video search service on Tuesday powered by technology from video search pioneer Blinkx.

Blinkx can scan video images to more closely match the search query, the companies said. The technology also translates the movie's audio files into text, which improves the chances for an exact match. This makes Blinkx unlike other video search engines, which typically scan clips and metadata based on descriptions supplied by content providers.

"Voice to text makes the searching more relevant, rather than just relying on the meta data or surrounding page information," Brian Kalinowski, Lycos chief operating officer, said in an interview. "Blinkx has about four-million hours of video, and about 25 million pieces of content, from more than 100 content partnerships."

With the Blinkx technology, Lycos hopes to make it easier for users to find online video content. Last month, it rolled out a platform to offer broadband video programming and entertainment with the look and feel of TV.

The two companies will share advertising revenue generated by search results. Online advertising is expected to generate $26 billion by 2009, according to eMarketer. About $1.5 billion will go toward video advertisements, the research firm said.

For Lycos, the move to expand broadband content on the site underscores the growing importance of video to its online service strategies. The search engine sees its future in multimedia content. In early fall, it will begin to release a product suite that continues its push into broadband with video, audio and games.

Lycos is not alone in its quest to offer consumers video content. AOL Inc. earlier this month said it would provide movie downloads and television content from News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Time Warner's Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

And just as Lycos has gone up against rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. in search, it will now do battle with both companies in video. As the number of broadband connections increase, more companies will look to tap into video to lure traffic to their sites.

Offering video search since 1999, Lycos isn't a newcomer to video, Kalinowski insists. "We had various partners, and they were good," he said. "But when you pick a video partner you want one with a large catalog and the technology that presents the most relevant information on whatever is being queried."

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