Tech Briefs: AOL Bolsters Online Video Search

Jan 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

AOL won a decisive victory in the burgeoning online video search battle with the news last week that it has acquired Truveo, an online video search engine that’s earned praise for being easy to use.

Video search on the Internet is quickly becoming a critically important area given the volume of TV content that’s moving online. Small and large search services alike are jostling for the premiere position.

AOL’s acquisition is indicative of its intention to play a leading role in helping users find the video content they want, said Tom Tercek, president of SMG Access, a creative division of Starcom MediaVest that develops content for marketers for new media.

Truveo’s strength, AOL said, lies in its ability to search content visually, enabling it to discover video files easily. AOL’s existing video search already draws from more than 20,000 video assets.

Internet Video Still for Techies

Only a handful of consumers are ready and willing to download and watch video content on the computer, according to a new study from video-on-demand research firm Marquest Research.

“IP video that involves a conscious effort on the part of the viewer to download or stream with a computer may still be too technically demanding to attract the bulk of the television audience,” said Paul Rule, president of Marquest. His research indicates that only about 10 percent of adults are eager to tackle this task. They tend to be relatively young, and two-thirds of them are male.

Mr. Rule analyzed data from a 2005 Marquest VOD study to identify individuals most likely to be the early adopters of Internet video and to move that content to various devices.

In addition to the demographic traits, nearly one-third of the video-eager adults have a DVR and 72 percent of them have a strong interest in using VOD.

“This analysis leads to the conclusion that early adopters for [IP video] can be expected to look very much like those first in line for previous home entertainment technologies. At the risk of relying too much on a clich%E9;, many of the IP videophiles are likely to be the folks found hanging out on Saturday mornings at Best Buy, Circuit City and RadioShack,” Mr. Rule said. “For crafters of the technology and for content providers and distributors, the challenge will be in making the IP video experience easy to understand, less daunting and appealing to the nontechie who is looking for truly simple plug-and-play.”