Yahoo Video builds on Yahoo's existing capability, such as an ability to locate news clips, and the site now includes ways to share video via Yahoo Mail and Messenger.
Analysts say the changes should enable Yahoo to compete with video search services from Google, AOL, MSN, YouTube.com, MySpace.com and others. "Yahoo is late with these higher-end video search capabilities, and at a disadvantage in this space," said Laura Martin, senior media analyst at Soleil-Fulcrum Research.
Video sites have seen a dramatic rise in visitors during the past year as broadband adoption increases, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. YouTube, however, has become the leading Web site from where videos are shared. In April, YouTube attracted 12.5 million U.S. visitors, compared with Yahoo's 2.6 million visitors.
Search is evolving, and today there is no guaranteed leader. Video-sharing sites with social-networking features will have the most success, said Philip Remek, senior media analyst at Guzman & Co. "There's no real leader," he said. "We'll see many companies experiment with different services. Don't be surprised if some no-name company emerges a year from now to lead them all."
Derek Brown, analyst at Pacific Growth Equities LLC, said Yahoo was very early on to tap into video search and now they've come back to revisit user-generated content in full force.
Yahoo Video Search, officially launched in May 2005, is seen by some as a reaction to the popularity of YouTube, a Web site that enables users to post, rate and share videos. YouTube claims to receive more than 100 million page views, 35,000 new videos uploaded, and 6 million unique visitors daily.