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October 9, 2006

Microsoft retains Blinkx for video search

Posted by David Hunter at 9:27 AM ET.

Eric Auchard at Reuters:

For searching video on the Web, ( is emerging as the way consumers on a range of Web sites and media properties find what is available.

On Monday, Blinkx will announce potentially one of its biggest deals to date, with Microsoft Corp., which has agreed to use Blinkx technology to power the video search on some parts of its MSN Internet sites and

“We will be the single biggest video search engine on the Web,” Suranga Chandratillake, Blinkx co-founder and chief technology officer, said in an interview.

Blinkx already powers video search on sites ranging from AOL to ITN, Lycos and Times Online. It also indexes video from the likes of BCC, Fox, MTV, Sky News, Reuters and YouTube and makes and makes videos on those sites searchable on Blinkx or partner sites.

To date, the company has indexed more than six million hours of audio, video, and TV programming to make it searchable.

Instead of a cut of advertising revenue, Microsoft has agreed to pay Blinkx an outright licensing fee based on how much use visitors to Microsoft Web sites make of the Blinkx search system, Chandratillake said.

No further financial details of the deal were available. Blinkx is privately held and there is more company background by following the link. The claim is that Blinkx can actually index the audio and visual content of videos and not just the surrounding text, but in a quick look at their site that wasn’t immediately observable.

Update: Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Watch has more:

Microsoft Live’s video search is currently powered by AOL Truveo technology (compare a search for cars on Windows Live Video to AOL’s Truveo-powered SearchVideo and you’ll see the results are the same). Microsoft said last month it was planning to develop its own video search tech.

Update 2: Uh Oh!

Although officials from the video search engine apparently did sign a deal to provide video search technology to Microsoft, a Blinkx spokesperson told BetaNews this afternoon that an official had revealed the news to Reuters prior to the details of the deal actually having been determined.

The spokesperson thus declined to speculate about exactly what it is Blinkx will be providing to Microsoft until more is learned from both Microsoft and the Blinkx officials who supposedly put pen to paper.

A later update to this article says the Blinkx index will merely be made available on Microsoft venues, but the whole thing seems to have been rushed to the table before being fully cooked.

Filed under AOL, Blinkx, Coopetition, Live Search, MSN, MSN Soapbox, MSN Video, Microsoft, Windows Live

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