Google and Yahoo! have been grabbing the video headlines recently. But in what appears to be something of a coup for America Online and a quick out for a start-up, AOL said it was buying new video search engine Truveo:
The acquisition of Truveo builds on the early leadership established by AOL in the video search engine arena, beginning with the purchase of Singingfish in November 2003 and continuing with the launch of AOL Video Search in June 2005. Truveo's video search capabilities will be integrated with our search and video products in the coming months.
Truveo had only just launched in September and boldly promoted itself as the best video search engine online. We blogged about it briefly here when it went live and it's already been gobbled up.
When I said "ripe for ultimate acquistion," who knew that "ultimate" meant three-and-a-half months?
Here's more detail from Gary Price at Search Engine Watch . Here's yet more from MarketWatch (scroll for Bambi Francisco video interview with Truveo CEO Timothy Tuttle)
Here's a TechCrunch September posting about Truveo.
The online video news just keeps coming. In fact, more interesting stuff coming tomorrow!
Here are some video facts and insights into AOL's rationale in the "backgrounder" it provided with the press release yesterday:
BACKGROUNDER: TRUVEO ACQUISITION
• 2005 marked the year video on the web arrived – and it will continue to explode in 2006:
• Video streaming has consistently doubled year over year over the past few years and is projected to grow at this rate beyond 2009;
• There were over 20 billion video streams in 2005 alone;
• Challenge for consumers has been the absence of a good video search engine online. There's simply no 'TV Guide' or 'remote clicker' to find the thousands of sites that have rich web video;
• Consumers still find it difficult to find the videos they want to watch: 59% of those currently watching Internet video "discover online videos randomly while being on the Web", and 53% of those not currently watching Internet video identified "ability to easily find my favorite types of video" as a primary motivator to increasing video consumption;
• Also, no video search application anywhere on the web has emerged as the premier player;
• All of this means there are huge opportunities in this space—for consumers, portals, advertisers, and others.
• Truveo is the clear leader in the video search space, augmenting AOL's very strong leadership position in online video:
• Simply put, Truveo offers a completely new approach to video search;
• The Truveo technology is unique, innovative, and unmatched – with a comprehensive index of up-to-the-minute video using proprietary 'visual crawler' techniques;
• Truveo offers one of the most comprehensive, robust, high-quality video indexes on the web, allowing consumers to search for and discover hard-to-find video in real-time;
• Truveo provides best-in-class search indexing, rich metadata, high-quality and constantly updated video content, a streamlined, visually-appealing search interface, and a powerful ranking engine – all on one screen;
• As a result, Truveo hits the 'sweet spot' for consumer video making the experience more relevant, accurate, up to the minute, easy to use, simple and fun, powerful, compelling, and quick;
• Internal testing shows that Truveo provides search results that are consistently better than others video search offerings on the web;
• Truveo also possesses world-class search engineering talent – pioneers with remarkable experience in innovative search design and search indexing and who truly understand what today's consumers seek in the online video search experience.
• Truveo and AOL are a perfect match.a marriage of the best broadband portal with the best video search engine on the web – a remarkable breakthrough in the search arena.
This bullet is worth noting:
Truveo also possesses world-class search engineering talent – pioneers with remarkable experience in innovative search design and search indexing and who truly understand what today's consumers seek in the online video search experience.
Talent is what many of these early-stage acquisitions appear to be about now—technology but also buying to hire.