AOL Acquires Video-Search Company Truveo

America Online has bought video-search company Truveo Inc., a move that AOL believes will expand its ability to find video on the Web.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

January 10, 2006

2 Min Read

America Online Inc. on Tuesday said it has bought video-search company Truveo Inc., a move that AOL believes will expand its ability to find video on the Web.

Financial details were not released, but AOL said it acquired the privately held Burlingame, Calif., company Dec. 21. Truveo, co-founded by chief executive Tim Tuttle and chief technologist Adam Beguelin two years ago, launched its service in September 2005.

AOL, a Dulles, Va., unit of Time Warner Inc., has made online video a key focus of its free Web portal. The company launched the portal last year to enter the booming online advertising market to counter the declining number of dial-up subscribers to its paid service.

Truveo uses proprietary Web crawling technology that it calls "visual crawling." The technology goes beyond traditional means of video search by examining the context of the surrounding Web application, which often reveals detailed metadata about the video, the company said. Other search engines are not as effective, because they examine only closed-caption transcripts and import RSS feeds to deliver results to user queries.

AOL plans to use Truveo technology to enhance its own Web search capabilities. The company first entered the video search arena in November 2003 with the purchase of Seattle-based Singingfish. AOL launched video search on its free portal in June 2005.

“The addition of Truveo’s video search technology, video assets, and experienced talent complements the overall video experience on AOL and takes it to new heights," Jonathan F. Miller, chairman and chief executive of AOL, said in a statement.

AOL's other investments in video include the use of a video playback format called "Hi-Q," which enables full-screen views of video. In addition, the company late last year invested in Brightcove, a Cambridge, Mass., company that plans to launch this year an Internet TV service that distributes video from independent producers and large cable broadcasters.

Google Inc., which bought a 5 percent stake in AOL late last year for $1 billion, plans to tap into AOL's video content in its own service.

Truveo's corporate headquarters is expected to remain in Burlingame. AOL plans to integrate the company into AOL's current video and search teams, led by led by Kevin Conroy, executive vice president of AOL's Media Networks unit; and Jim Riesenbach, senior vice president of AOL Search.

Truveo was AOL Inc.’s fifth announced corporate acquisition of 2005. Others included Music Now LLC in November, Weblogs Inc. in September, and Xdrive Inc. and Wildseed Ltd. in August.

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